EDQ's Aldoga site

Gladstone, Queensland is set to become the state’s clean energy capital with the most hydrogen projects currently in the pipeline of any area across the state.

A cluster of global companies have chosen Gladstone as the home of major clean fuel developments with the Gladstone State Development Area (SDA) at the centre of the region’s renewables boom, cementing its status as an industrial hotspot for green giants. 

Fortescue Future Industries and Alpha HPA are among the renewable energy heavyweights building on Queensland Government-developed land within the 26,934ha Gladstone SDA. 

It comes as about one-third of the 40-plus green hydrogen-related projects across the state sit in Central Queensland, including several major ventures flagged for Gladstone.

Some of the hydrogen-related investment activity in the Gladstone region includes: 

  • Fortescue Future Industries is building a world-leading hydrogen electrolyser facility at Aldoga 
  • CQ-H2: Central Queensland Renewable Hydrogen Project – Stanwell is working with domestic and international partners from across the hydrogen supply chain to develop large-scale renewable hydrogen production in Central Queensland 
  • H2-Hub™ Gladstone: Hydrogen Utility (H2U)has established a consortium of key domestic and global partners proposing to build a 3GW green hydrogen and ammonia production complex at Yarwun and associated export terminal infrastructure at Fisherman’s Landing 
  • Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Company and Cement Australia have teamed up to investigate the commercialisation of methanol production using green hydrogen 
  • Australian Gas Network will build a renewable hydrogen production facility and trial a blend of natural gas and hydrogen into Gladstone’s gas network 
  • Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation is planning a green hydrogen plant
  • Rio Tinto is investigating the use of renewable hydrogen to partially decarbonise alumina refining 
  • Origin and ENEOS will explore the potential for the reliable supply of affordable hydrogen made with renewable energy
  • The Pacific Solar Hydrogen Project seeks to develop battery and solar farm facilities that would supply energy to a planned hydrogen production plant

EDQ's Yarwun estate in the Gladstone SDA

Economic Development Queensland (EDQ) General Manager, Debbie McNamara, said the Gladstone SDA was set to skyrocket as a destination for clean energy development. 

“These companies could have gone anywhere in Australia, and they chose Gladstone – so that’s a strong vote of confidence in the region’s future,” Ms McNamara said. 

“With access to the Port of Gladstone and other industrial infrastructure, EDQ’s Aldoga and Yarwun sites are ideal for large-scale projects tapping into hydrogen export markets. 

“There’s also the benefit of joining a group of established companies within a purpose-designed estate and in a region with strong manufacturing and export skills.” 

Jobs at the Aldoga and Yarwun sites are expected to be more than 5,500 by June 2024. Gladstone’s leading role in the growing green energy sector is expected to bring benefits across construction, manufacturing, and a range of other local service industries. 

“We’re focused on generating opportunities for growth through projects that create quality local jobs, setting Gladstone up for generations to come,” Ms McNamara said. 

“We anticipate interest in industrial land within the Gladstone SDA, and other regional areas, will build as more businesses explore opportunities to invest in Queensland.” 

The Hydrogen Utility (H2U) is among the companies that aim to harness the region’s potential for green hydrogen. 

Having secured a strategic site in Yarwun for its planned $4.7 billion green hydrogen and ammonia H2- Hub™ Gladstone development, H2U has since secured a coordinated project declaration in April 2022 and the terms of reference for an environmental impact statement in February 2023. It is currently engaged in front-end engineering and environmental studies. 

The proposed two-stage development, expected to create more than 500 jobs, will support decarbonisation of existing nearby industrial operations in Yarwun and connect to port facilities to export green hydrogen and ammonia to offshore markets including Japan and Korea. 

H2U founder and CEO, Dr Attilio Pigneri, said Gladstone was the ideal location to support the scope and ambition of the project. 

“Working with the team at EDQ, we have been able to secure a uniquely strategic site for our H2-Hub™ Gladstone project, with proximity to domestic offtakers, water and power infrastructure and connectivity to existing port facilities,” Dr Pigneri said. 

“These elements, combined with the coordinated project approval framework that is available for projects within the SDA, and the breadth of infrastructure and operational capabilities associated with the Port of Gladstone, have been the key to our developing strategic relationships with cornerstone offtakers in the domestic and export markets, including our partnerships with Orica, the leading global manufacturer of ammonia and technical explosives, and Korea East-West Power, the operator of one of the largest portfolio of power generation assets in Korea.” 

As Central Queensland’s renewables boom continues, several pumped hydro schemes are also being explored across regional Queensland as the state’s transition to clean energy ramps up. 

One example is the Sunshine Hydro proposal for a $2 billion pumped hydro and green hydrogen facility that would provide enough renewable energy to power the equivalent of 600,000 homes. 

Learn more about the development of Queensland’s hydrogen industry at the Department’s website

Featured images: EDQ’s Aldoga site; EDQ’s Yarwun estate in the Gladstone SDA. Courtesy of Queensland Government.

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