The Port of Newcastle Hydrogen Hub to support Hunter Economy

Port of Newcastle is ideal for developing a hydrogen hub and exporting hydrogen as a tradable energy commodity.

Australia’s Port of Newcastle is partnering with Macquarie Group’s Green Investment Group and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (Arena) to support the development of a hydrogen economy in the Hunter Region.

The project partners have launched an AU$3 million feasibility study into developing a green hydrogen hub at the Port. The hub, called the Port of Newcastle Hydrogen Hub, will initially be underpinned by a 40 MW electrolyser which would eventually reach over 1GW.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced that his government, through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), will deliver an extra AU$ 1.5 million to support the partners to conduct a $3 million study on the hub’s potential.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the study would identify the region’s current and future potential as a hydrogen hub. “Newcastle and the Hunter will be a key part of the $1.2 billion we’re investing in Australia’s hydrogen industry,” the Prime Minister said.

The feasibility study into the initial 40 MW hub will determine a broad and comprehensive range of potential use cases for green hydrogen in the Hunter, which build on the region’s strong industrial heritage, including mobility, bunkering, energy production and industrial uses.

The study will also assess the suitability of an optimal site within the Port. Given its large size and existing infrastructure, it has a range of options for developing and scaling-up hydrogen and ammonia infrastructure that can successfully link into existing East Coast supply chains.

Port of Newcastle and Macquarie’s Green Investment Group have also signed Memoranda of Understanding with Idemitsu, Keolis Downer, Lake Macquarie City Council, Snowy Hydro and Jemena for participation in the feasibility study. A Memorandum of Understanding has also been signed with the University of Newcastle as the project’s R&D partner. Macquarie’s agriculture platform, which manages more than 4.5 million hectares of farmland across Australia, will also participate in the feasibility study, focusing on green ammonia for fertiliser production.

Port of Newcastle Port of Newcastle is Australia’s deepwater global gateway, the largest on the nation’s East Coast. It contributes trade worth about $26 billion to the national economy annually.

Port of Newcastle Chair, Professor Roy Green, said a green hydrogen hub in the Hunter would support the development of new industries in the region.

Port of Newcastle CEO Craig Carmody, added, “Our partnership brings together local knowledge and international experience to support the diversification of the Port so that the Hunter continues to be an engine of economic growth for the region and New South Wales.”

Kate Vidgen, Global Head at Macquarie, commented “This feasibility study will take us even closer to better understanding the range of domestic and export opportunities.”

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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