$8.5m to ready Qld port for hydrogen exports

Brandon How

The Queensland state government has made a multi-million commitment to support green hydrogen exports as Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announces further progress on two hydrogen projects backed by investment from South Korean, Japanese, and Singaporean firms.

The $8.5 million Abbot Point Activation Initiative is being funded through the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan to advance master planning, development, and infrastructure arrangements to transform the coal port into a hydrogen export super hub.

This will include planning activity for the water and power needed for hydrogen production in North Queensland.

Over six days last week, Ms Palaszczuk led a trade mission to South Korea, Japan, and Singapore with Queensland Resources minister Scott Stewart and Powerlink chief executive Professor Paul Simshauser, as well as other business leaders and directors-general.

Japan and Korea are Queensland’s second and third largest goods trading partners. Total goods traded with each partner is valued at $33.9 billion and $28.3 billion, respectively.

Leaders of the Han-Ho consortium partners joined by Queensland Resources minister Scott Stewart, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, the South-Korean Deputy Minister for Trade, Industry, and Energy, and the acting Australian Ambassador to South Korea. Image: LinkedIn

Ms Palaszczuk oversaw the signing of a Heads of Agreement for the Korea-Australia Han-Ho hydrogen consortium in South Korea, progressing its plans to export Queensland-produced ammonia to South Korea to the feasibility study stage.

The consortium is comprised of Australia-based Ark Energy, and parent company Korea Zinc, as well as Korean conglomerates Hanwha Impact, and SK Gas.

A $2.66 million federal grant for the Han-Ho feasibility study through the ‘Regional Hydrogen Hubs: Hub Development and Design Grants’ program was awarded in December 2022.

The Han-Ho consortium will develop a facility capable of producing 1.8 million tonners of green ammonia per annum and support Ark Energy’s proposed Collinsville Green Energy Hub, which will include up to 3GW of solar and wind energy.

Ark also plans to develop SunHQ in Townsville, which will include a 1MW electrolyser capable for producing 155 tonnes of green hydrogen annually.

During her time in Japan, Ms Palaszczuk discussed the Central Queensland Hydrogen (CQ-H2) project, led by state-owned electricity company the Stanwell Corporation, with representatives of project partners Iwatani Corporation, Kansai Electric Power Company, and Marubeni Corporation.

She also invited Singapore-based Keppel Infrastructure to Queensland to continue discussions on the project, which is currently expected to be the state’s largest hydrogen project.

The infrastructure asset management firm joined the CQ-H2 project in May, as the Australian Renewable Energy Agency committed $20 million for the progression of a front-end engineering and design study.

Ms Palaszczuk described North Queensland as having some of the world’s best solar and wind resources and welcomed the progress made on the two internationally backed hydrogen projects. Returning from the trade mission, she stressed the importance of the state governments long-term strategies.

“Demand for hydrogen from our trading partners is booming, and we’re making sure Central and North Queensland reap the benefits. This trade mission was all about making sure key investment partners knew about our Energy and Jobs Plan and Critical Minerals Strategy,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“Both of these initiatives have laid out a clear pathway to future investment opportunities and led to significant global interest in Queensland as a place to do business. This is the kind of investment that creates jobs for Queenslanders and helps use deliver cleaner and greener energy not just in Queensland but around the world.”

Stage one of the federal government’s $70 million Regional Hydrogen Hubs Program – Townsville Region Grant closed at the end of April, with stage two expected to open at the end of August. The funding will be awarded to hydrogen industry-led consortia for the development of green hydrogen projects.

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