Workers at Pilbara site
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The Western Australian and Federal Governments have agreed to a $140 million investment to build a hydrogen hub in the Pilbara region, Western Australia.

The Pilbara Hydrogen Hub is expected to become a major centre for hydrogen production and export, with the potential to become an international gateway to Australian-made green steel and iron.

The project is set to support almost 1,000 direct and indirect jobs, including for builders, concreters, electricians, plumbers, fitters and technicians.

Construction on the road and intersection will start in 2024, with the hub due to become operational in mid-2028. A planned pipeline could enable hydrogen production of around 492,000t per year – enough to decarbonise existing ammonia production on the Burrup Peninsula.   

The combined $140 million investment ($70 million each from the Federal and State Governments) will help build infrastructure to support hydrogen exports and renewable energy production, as well as fund activities for a Clean Energy Training and Research Institute.

The institute will provide practical, job-focused training in renewable energy and hydrogen for Pilbara residents, including First Nations peoples. 

The project will take place in the Pilbara, on the traditional lands of the Ngarluma and Kariyarra people. This also includes Murujuga, where the Traditional Custodians are represented by the Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation.

Western Australian Premier, Roger Cook, said the hub was a key part of his government’s plan to turn Western Australia into a global clean energy powerhouse. 

“When it comes to producing and exporting world-leading products at a global scale, Western Australia leads the way.” 

Mr Cook said the project will place Western Australian-produced hydrogen on Asia’s doorstep, helping to strengthen and diversify the state’s economy for the future.

Federal Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Chris Bowen, said the hub would ensure the Pilbara’s future as a major energy producer and exporter.

“This hub will bring a new clean energy industry to the Pilbara, supporting the region’s world-class industries well into the future.

“Western Australia is already a global mining and export powerhouse, and it’s now primed to become a world-leading hydrogen supplier as well.”

Western Australian Member for Pilbara, Kevin Michel, said the hydrogen hub would create hundreds of long-term local jobs for the region.

“Developing a hydrogen industry in the Pilbara means more jobs and a strong future for our local communities.”

By 2050, Australia’s hydrogen industry is projected to generate $50 billion in additional GDP and create more than 16,000 jobs in regional Australia, including in Western Australia.

The industry is also expected to create an additional 13,000 jobs from the construction of renewable energy infrastructure.

The Australian Government’s $70 million investment is part of its Regional Hydrogen Hubs program, which is investing more than half a billion dollars to build hubs at key locations like Kwinana, Gladstone, Townsville, Bell Bay, Port Bonython, and the Hunter.

Industry comment

The Australian Hydrogen Council (AHC) congratulated the Western Australian and Federal Governments on the announcement of the agreement to progress the hydrogen hub.

The AHC also commended other hydrogen hub projects funded by the Federal Government and said that more than $500 million has been invested to support the development of the hydrogen industry in regional Australia.

Australian Hydrogen Council Chief Executive Officer, Fiona Simon, said, “We would like to congratulate the Australian Government, State Governments and industry for investing in the Australian hydrogen industry through seven regional hydrogen hubs strategically positioned across Australia. 

“These hub projects are being led by world-leading developers and partners, and will need continued support from all levels of government to address common user infrastructure, social licence and regulatory requirements.

“Hydrogen has a clear role to play in meeting Australia’s net zero ambitions especially for the hard-to-abate sectors, so we now need to focus on implementation and continue to share and learn from these large-scale projects to accelerate the transition and drive down the cost of hydrogen.

“Today we congratulate the Western Australian Government on reaching this milestone and strengthening the Pilbara region’s prospect of being a hydrogen rich economy that leverages its existing mining and export partnerships. We look forward to seeing this project progress.”

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