Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd and Energy Minister Angus Taylor pictured at Boyne Smelter Limited earlier this year.
Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd and Energy Minister Angus Taylor pictured at Boyne Smelter Limited earlier this year.

$1.9m for study into CQ renewable hydrogen project

THE Federal Government will today announce a commitment of $1.9 million towards a feasibility study into a renewable hydrogen plant near Moura.

Funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, Queensland Nitrates will examine the feasibility of commercial renewable hydrogen.

The proposed project has the capacity to produce 20,000 tonnes a year of ammonia from 3600 tonnes of renewable hydrogen.

Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd said if the study supports the development of the plant, it would provide a boost to construction and ongoing employment at Moura.

Queensland Nitrates currently uses natural gas to manufacture the ammonia required for its plant.

The project would reduce its use of natural gas by about 20 per cent and minimise its dependence on third-party suppliers to fill its production gap.

Mr O'Dowd said the study would be great for the economy.

"If the study leads to a plant being built, it will create hundreds of jobs during construction and dozens of ongoing local jobs for Moura," he said.

"This funding shows the Federal Government's strong commitment to explore the use of hydrogen in exports, transport and the gas distribution network, for industrial users and to support electricity systems."

Energy Minister Angus Taylor said this would also help pave the way for Australia to become a world leader in hydrogen development.

"The development of our hydrogen resources will create ... jobs and an export industry valued in billions," he said.

"We are taking action to ensure Australia is prepared to grasp those opportunities."

The announcement follows last week's release of Geoscience Australia's comprehensive analysis into Australia's role in hydrogen generation.

The report, Prospective Hydrogen Production Regions of Australia, identified areas with high potential for future hydrogen production.

"Hydrogen has the potential to be a major new industry over coming decades, similar to the scale of the LNG industry in Australia," Mr Taylor said.

"The development of our hydrogen resources could also create new Australian jobs and an export industry valued in the billions."

Australia's Chief Scientist Alan Finkel is expected to release the comprehensive national strategy for the development of a hydrogen industry by the end of the year.