Rio Tinto, Sumitomo to assess hydrogen pilot plant at Yarwun alumina refinery

The hydrogen plant is an important step towards making Gladstone Hydrogen Ecosystem a reality.

Rio Tinto and Sumitomo Corporation agreed to explore building a hydrogen pilot plant and the potential application of hydrogen at Rio Tinto’s Yarwun alumina refinery in Gladstone, Australia.

Sumitomo has been studying Yarwun for a Gladstone hydrogen plant. If the project proceeds, the pilot plant would produce hydrogen for the recently announced Gladstone Hydrogen Ecosystem. The Australian government want to make Gladstone a clean hydrogen hub of the future.

The partnership is in line with Sumitomo recently announced feasibility study exploring the use of hydrogen to replace natural gas in the alumina refining process at Yarwun, providing the potential for larger-scale implementation.

Kellie Parker, CEO of Rio Tinto Australia, said, “Reducing the carbon intensity of our alumina production will be key to meeting our 2030 and 2050 climate targets. There is clearly more work to be done, but partnerships and projects like this are an important part of helping us get there.”

Hajime Mori, Sumitomo Corporation’s Energy Innovation Initiative Director, said, “We believe the pilot plant will play a significant role in establishing the Gladstone Hydrogen Ecosystem. Sumitomo has commenced the Design Study and Preliminary Master Planning to build the Gladstone hydrogen ecosystem and we will continue to work towards future hydrogen exports from Gladstone.”

Steven Miles, Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, said, “This is only the beginning of a wave of international collaborations that will lead to new industries and new jobs underpinned by the supply of renewable energy.”

Mick de Brenni, Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen, said, “This is a plan to create a renewable energy ecosystem that will power our low-carbon ambitions to transform industry, create thousands of jobs for Queenslanders, and decarbonise not only Queensland but the nation.”

Glenn Butcher, Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing and Minister for Water, said, “Gladstone’s world-class deepwater port, water security through Awoonga Dam, and industry attraction via the local State Development Area have set Gladstone up to become the hydrogen capital of Australia.”

Shahkar Ali

Shahkar is the regional representative for Asia covering the hydrogen industry for H2 Bulletin. Please click on the email icon to contact him directly via email or follow him on social media.
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