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Fortescue Future Industries (FFI), a renewable energy company, has been approved to begin planning what will be one of the world’s biggest hydrogen equipment manufacturing facilities in Gladstone, Queensland. 

Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Steven Miles, said the approval would allow FFI to progress plans for constructing the facility in the Gladstone State Development Area (SDA).

“FFI now has the planning approval required to progress the $114 million first stage of its Global Green Energy Manufacturing Centre (GEM) at Aldoga in the Gladstone SDA,” Mr Miles said.

“In its initial stage, this $114 million investment from Fortescue Future Industries will create more than 100 construction jobs and 50 operational jobs.

“Jobs numbers are expected to exceed 300 over the life of the project.”

GEM’s electrolyser facility is a boost to Queensland’s growing credentials as a world leader in green hydrogen.

“It will be the first facility in Australia able to make the multi-gigawatt-scale electrolysers used worldwide in hydrogen production,” Mr Miles said. 

“With initial capacity to manufacture up to 2GW of electrolysers annually, it will be the largest electrolyser factory in the world when it comes online in 2023.

“The facility will be constructed within a four-hectare site with an electrolyser assembly building to cover approximately 12,900m2.”

Queensland Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment, Cameron Dick, said the renewable energy revolution is a key element of the QLD Government’s economic recovery plan.

“We’re developing a renewable hydrogen industry that’s maintaining Queensland’s dominance as a global energy superpower,” Mr Dick said. 

“FFI could have built this facility anywhere in Australia.

“They chose Queensland.

“This is all about creating more jobs and creating more opportunities for traditional and emerging industries.”

FFI Chairman, Dr Andrew Forrest AO, said Gladstone is going to be at the centre of Queensland’s green energy revolution with the first electrolysers scheduled to enter production in 2023.

“This project will not only be a game changer for green manufacturing in regional Queensland, it will also provide a major boost for the local economy and indelibly put Queensland as an epicentre of the coming green industry revolution,” Mr Forrest said.

FFI Chief Executive Officer, Julie Shuttleworth AM, said the manufacturing facility in Gladstone will be a major hub in Queensland’s growing hydrogen industry.

“We are pleased to be working with the State Government on pioneering green hydrogen manufacturing in Gladstone,” Ms Shuttleworth said.

“The project will boost the Australian economy and create local jobs for Queenslanders as we transition away from fossil fuels. 

“Receiving planning approval from the State Government brings this project even closer to fruition, as we work towards commencing construction on the first stage in February 2022.”

Queensland Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen, Mick de Brenni, said as the owner of the Gladstone SDA, the Queensland Government, is pleased to be working in partnership with FFI to establish a world-leading hub for the manufacture of electrolysers used in hydrogen projects.

“This partnership to create Australia’s first large-scale advanced hydrogen manufacturing facility will create jobs for Queenslanders and is proof we are seizing the renewables opportunity to rebuild and decarbonise Queensland’s industry with all the massive potential that offers right across the state,” Mr de Brenni said.

Queensland Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing and Member for Gladstone, Glenn Butcher, said Gladstone’s rapidly developing hydrogen industry will make the region a leader in renewables and boost the local manufacturing industry.

“Gladstone is at the forefront of growing new industries to build on our sovereign industrial capability,” Mr Butcher said.

“New industries like this provide opportunities for local manufacturers to become part of the domestic supply chain and also export their products to the world.”

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