Monday, June 24, 2024

$207.6m Hunter hydrogen hub gets green light

The NSW Government has given planning approval to a $207.6 million hydrogen hub in the Hunter.

The State Significant Development at Kooragang Island led by Origin Future Fuels is expected to begin construction in mid-2025. The hub will initially deliver approximately 55 megawatts of electrolyser capacity by 2026, with an aim to scale up to over 1 gigawatt of capacity over the next decade.

“This facility will be a regional cornerstone of the hydrogen industry, accelerating NSW’s shift towards clean technologies and net zero,” said Minister for Climate Change and the Environment, Penny Sharpe.

Green hydrogen is created through electrolysis (splitting of water into hydrogen and oxygen) which can be used as a feedstock in industrial processes and as a fuel source in the transport sector.

Minister for the Hunter Yasmin Catley said the development will support the hydrogen industry in NSW by establishing a commercial-scale green hydrogen supply chain and a hydrogen refuelling network for the Hunter Region and NSW.

It will be used by industry, with the majority going to Orica’s nearby ammonium nitrate manufacturing facility to help decarbonise its operations with green hydrogen, and made available to transport customers through onsite and satellite refuelling stations.

The development is set to save the equivalent of more than 52,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year from Orica’s facility.

“NSW has the potential to be a leading producer of green hydrogen and so does the Hunter as the country’s largest regional economy,” said Minister Catley.

“The Hub offers us an opportunity to bring back work lost when the former government shipped manufacturing jobs offshore.”

The approval of the Hub follows this week’s announcement of the Future Jobs and Investment Authority.

“It is a clear sign that the NSW Government is investing in the future of the Hunter, shoring up our energy grid and unleashing the Hunter’s potential to once again be a manufacturing powerhouse,” said Minister Catley.

“Workers expect the NSW Government to be making investments to unlock new industry in the Hunter and ensure our region has stable, good paying jobs well into the future.

“Today’s announcement demonstrates the NSW Government is ambitious about our community’s future.”

The project is expected to create 160 construction jobs with 10 ongoing roles.

It has been funded by $45 million from the NSW Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water and $70 million from the Commonwealth Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water.

For more information visit the Hunter Valley Hydrogen Hub project page.

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