PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The Queensland government has announced a landmark partnership with Japan’s largest hydrogen company Iwatani Corporation, which would see planning progressed on a new renewable hydrogen export facility in Gladstone.
Queensland-owned Stanwell Corporation will form a consortium with Iwatani, to build commercial and government partnerships to enable the project to move towards a bankable feasibility study and front-end engineering design.
Stanwell CEO Richard Van Breda said that the project could ultimately underpin the future of hydrogen supply to Japan and support the decarbonisation of Japan’s electricity system.
Stanwell and Iwatani recently completed a concept study which identified that Central Queensland has the natural competitive advantages to be a world leader in exporting hydrogen.
“The region has high quality renewable energy resources, available land and water, port infrastructure, and is in close proximity to key export markets,” said Van Breda.
“While our concept study showed there is still a way to go for hydrogen to be commercial, collaborating with key partners such as Iwatani will help to drive down the cost of hydrogen technologies, and support the development of the industry.
“Partnerships with countries such as Japan will be key to the development of a strong and world-leading hydrogen industry in Queensland.
“These kinds of partnerships will be critical to further developing our emerging hydrogen industry and will put Queensland on the map as a future powerhouse for clean energy exports.”
Van Breda noted that exploring opportunities for future collaboration on commercial scale operations and investments in hydrogen production was vital if Queensland was to realise the significant economic benefits and job creation opportunities hydrogen brings.
“Stanwell and Iwatani’s consortium gets the ball rolling on the development of a future hydrogen supply chain with Japan which could lead to billions of dollars in export earnings for Queensland and help Japan meet its future decarbonisation ambitions.”
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk noted at the end of last week that demand for renewable hydrogen out of Japan was growing rapidly.
“If we can position Queensland as a key exporter of this resource, Queensland will be at the forefront of the renewable energy revolution. To do that, we must partner with Japanese energy suppliers – and when it comes to hydrogen, they don’t come any larger than Iwatani.
“Hydrogen is the future. We’re investing in this sector because we know the great potential this industry has to drive Queensland’s economic recovery in years to come.
“For the first time in history, I have appointed a Minister for Renewables and Hydrogen. This is testament to the importance of this industry in rebuilding our economy.”
Newly-appointed Minister for Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni said the partnership with Iwatani was evidence of Queensland’s commitment to rapidly developing its potential as a green hydrogen exporter.
“The Premier has given me a mandate to do everything we can to grow this industry, and put Queensland workers front and centre in this,” the Minister said.
“We’ll continue to partner with the world’s leading energy companies, including our own, to develop this exciting new industry in Queensland.”