In an effort to bolster Central Queensland’s renewables efforts, the Queensland Government and Rio Tinto have signed a statement of cooperation to leverage opportunities in the region.
The statement of cooperation will secure the future competitiveness of Queensland, adding value to a natural energy advantage to drive employment and economic outcomes for the state by focusing on three areas:
- Committing to industry by establishing certainty for current industry and growing demand
- Delivering a globally competitive energy solution that is centred around firmed, low-carbon electricity for industry
- Growing the industries of the future in Central Queensland by creating an enabling regulatory environment, strengthening regional skills and employment to lower capital intensity, and planning for the infrastructure to enable industry development
Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, said supporting investment in renewables and hydrogen was part of Queensland’s plan for economic recovery from COVID-19.
“This week we’ve announced one of the world’s largest hydrogen electrolyser manufacturing plants will be built in Central Queensland,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“We’re signing a statement of cooperation with Rio Tinto to ensure Central Queensland can take advantage of our natural energy advantage and drive employment and economic outcomes from investment in renewable energy projects.
“By backing Queensland to become a renewable energy and hydrogen superpower we will create and sustain jobs long into the future.”
Queensland Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Steven Miles, said the government would work with industry to find ways to build more renewable energy faster.
“This will be a multi-signatory statement which will ensure that Central Queensland becomes one of the first regions in the world to benefit from the massive growth in demand for renewable energy,” Mr Miles said.
“We will ensure that in Central Queensland, renewable energy is used to power the industries and material that the world will need over the years ahead.
“This will demonstrate Queensland’s capability and attract investors looking to use clean energy to create their futures and the jobs that come with it.”
Rio Tinto, the first partner to join the statement, have signed on with a commitment to use their experience to help deliver future green industry for Queensland.
Rio Tinto Aluminium Chief Executive, Ivan Vella said, “Transitioning to a low carbon
economy presents a real opportunity for industrial regions if stakeholders are willing to both think differently and collaborate.
“As Queensland’s largest energy user and a major Gladstone employer and manufacturer, Rio Tinto is uniquely positioned to work with the Queensland Government to deliver this vision.
“We have been in the region for more than 50 years and we share the State Government’s goals for decarbonisation, job creation and a vibrant industrial future for the region.
“We are working closely with the Queensland Government on the role we can play by underwriting long-term green offtake for our industrial assets.
“This should help create the industrial demand needed to develop a globally competitive green energy solution and lead to more processing and manufacturing in Central Queensland.”
Queensland Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen, Mick de Brenni, said this partnership with industry is the result of the Queensland Government’s concentrated efforts and commitment to job creation, infrastructure and regional development.
“Rio Tinto is the largest consumer of electricity we have, and its decarbonisation commitments underscore the importance of the Palaszczuk Government’s Central Queensland Renewable Energy Zone (CQREZ),” Mr de Brenni said.