Port of Newcastle spruiks hydrogen hub deal

Prime minister announces investment link with Macquarie and ARENA

Port of Newcastle spruiks hydrogen hub deal
Scott Morrison, centre, at the announcement


The great Australian hydrogen race is on, with the Port of Newcastle (PON) joining Western Australia and Queensland amongst the early starters.

Helping the PON cause is the prime minister Scott Morrison, who announcement that PON was partnering with Macquarie Group’s Green Investment Group and the federal government’s Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to support the development of a hydrogen economy in the Hunter Region.

PON highlights that it and Macquarie’s Green Investment Group have launched a $3 million feasibility study into the development of a green hydrogen hub at the Port that includes the backing of a $1.5 million funding grant from ARENA, secured under its Advancing Renewables Program.

The hub, called the Port of Newcastle Hydrogen Hub, will initially be underpinned by a 40MW electrolyser that over time would increase to a capacity of over 1GW.  

The feasibility study into the initial 40MW hub will determine a broad and comprehensive range of potential use cases for green hydrogen in the Hunter which build on the region’s strong industrial heritage.

These include mobility, bunkering, energy production and industrial uses at the scale necessary to position the Hunter at the centre of the emerging global green hydrogen opportunity.

Developing these use cases would support the creation of local jobs during construction and operations, the development of new industries and contribute to Australia’s long-term economic and energy security.  

Read about CEFC’s investment in a Qld hydrogen fleet, here

The PON chair, professor Roy Green, said a green hydrogen hub in the Hunter, underpinned by a 40MW electrolyser, would support the development of new industries in the region and contribute to Australia’s long-term economic and energy security, as well as creating local jobs during construction and operations.  

The study will also assess the suitability of an optimal site within the port which, given its size and existing infrastructure, has a range of options for developing and scaling-up hydrogen and ammonia infrastructure that can successfully link into existing east-coast supply chains.

Port of Newcastle and Macquarie’s Green Investment Group have also signed memoranda of understanding (MOU) with Idemitsu, Keolis Downer, Lake Macquarie City Council, Snowy Hydro and Jemena, all of whom will participate in the feasibility study.

"It makes sense for the Port of Newcastle to play a substantial role in Australia’s bid to become a significant renewable exporter," PON CEO Craig Carmody said, noting the port’s diversification strategy.

"With our existing access to global energy supply chains, world-class infrastructure, strong industry partnerships, proximity to the existing demand, links to domestic road and rail networks, a local highly skilled workforce and proximity to renewable energy zones, Port of Newcastle is well placed to develop a hydrogen hub and export hydrogen as a tradable energy commodity."


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