A joint feasibility study between Incitec Pivot and Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) will explore the potential for manufacturing green ammonia at Gibson Island.
The study will assess whether industrial-scale manufacturing on the island is technically and commercially feasible on an existing brownfield site.
It will also investigate building a new water electrolysis facility on the site to produce around 50,000 tonnes of renewable hydrogen per year, which would then be converted into green ammonia for Australian and export markets.
Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, said momentum was building in Queensland’s quest to become a renewable hydrogen superpower.
“Queensland has an exciting future as a global powerhouse for the production of renewable hydrogen and renewables products, and I want to thank Incitec Pivot and FFI for committing to this study.”
Incitec Pivot has billions of dollars invested in Queensland fertiliser and explosives plants and employs 1,200 people across five sites.
The company recently completed an $80 million capital upgrade of the Gibson Island plant in early 2020 on the back of Queensland Government facilitation.
Incitec CEO, Jeanne Johns, said the study was a crucial step in contributing to Australia and Queensland’s potential as a green ammonia powerhouse.
“We’re excited to partner with FFI who are committed to producing zero-emission hydrogen from 100 per cent renewable sources,” Ms Johns said.
She said the partnership was considered one of Australia’s best near-term opportunities to produce green ammonia at an industrial scale.
Gibson Island plant currently produces more than 300,000 tonnes of ammonia each year.
“If feasible, this project would sustain highly skilled manufacturing jobs at Gibson Island and allow us to leverage our existing capabilities and assets to create a thriving renewable hydrogen ecosystem in Queensland,” Ms Johns said.
The Gibson Island plant is Queensland’s largest consumer of gas for local manufacturing.
The three‑year gas supply agreement has sustained the jobs of more than 400 workers at the plant.
FFI is Australia’s third biggest miner, and functions as a developer, financier and operator investing in zero-emission resources to produce renewable energy at a scale.
Preliminary results from the feasibility study are expected to be available at the end of 2021.