Sumitomo Corporation Australia Managing Director Mr Yoshikazu 'Cash' Ishikawa addresses the launch of the Gladstone Hydrogen Ecosystem project. Picture: Rodney Stevens
Sumitomo Corporation Australia Managing Director Mr Yoshikazu 'Cash' Ishikawa addresses the launch of the Gladstone Hydrogen Ecosystem project. Picture: Rodney Stevens

Emerging hydrogen industry on radar for 60% of QLD CEOs

The emerging hydrogen industry is being embraced by Queensland CEOs, with more than 60 per cent considering hydrogen-related business opportunities, a report reveals.

Gladstone is poised to play a leading role in the industry, with the development of Hydrogen Park Gladstone and the national export role of the city’s port.

The news follows the March 17 landmark signing of a memorandum of understanding to develop Australia’s, and the world’s first hydrogen ecosystem, in Gladstone, by 2030.

The MoU was signed by Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation, Gladstone Ports Corporation, Gladstone Regional Council, CQUniversity and the Australian Gas Industry Group.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk met with state member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher and minister for state development, manufacturing, infrastructure and planning Cameron Dick at Northern Oil Refinery to announce the Queensland Government's new hydrogen plan.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk met with state member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher and minister for state development, manufacturing, infrastructure and planning Cameron Dick at Northern Oil Refinery to announce the Queensland Government's new hydrogen plan.

Eco Energy World has also announced plans for a $500 million hydrogen and solar plant at Raglan, north of Gladstone.

Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane said more than 30 per cent of member CEOs who responded to a recent sentiment survey believed hydrogen would provide an opportunity to reduce emissions in their own business.

Mr Macfarlane said a further 30 per cent of CEOs thought hydrogen could help grow their business and 10 per cent of CEOs were already committed to hydrogen projects.

The survey results published in the QRC’s latest State of the Sector report show resources companies are actively looking at new technologies such as hydrogen as a way to reduce emissions to address the challenge of climate change.

“While there is a way to go before green hydrogen can be considered a commercially viable energy source in Queensland, the research, development and commercialisation work underway is very promising,” he said.

“The State Government’s decision to establish a Ministry for Hydrogen Industry Development and a Ministerial Energy Council also shows it’s serious about encouraging industry to invest in renewable technologies like hydrogen, so I think we’re all moving in the right direction.”

Mr Macfarlane said the QRC looked forward to sharing the strong interest of its members in hydrogen, as part of the energy mix, in its discussions with the council.

“The good news for Queensland is that the unique ingredients that make our state a global minerals and energy powerhouse are ideally suited to support a thriving hydrogen export industry,” he said.

“Queensland has around 300 days of sunshine a year, we’re close to large export markets in Asia, and we have a proud history of coexisting with other regional industries.

“Queensland’s resource industry already has the essential skills base and strong safety culture that can drive the state’s hydrogen sector forward on a large scale.”

Australian Gas Networks (AGN) hydrogen plant in Gladstone (artists impression, supplied)
Australian Gas Networks (AGN) hydrogen plant in Gladstone (artists impression, supplied)

Mr Macfarlane said the latest State of the Sector report highlighted the continuing resilience and adaptability of Queensland’s resources industry in the face of the global pandemic.

“In spite of all the challenges we’ve faced, mining and gas jobs in Queensland increased by 15 per cent over the 12 months to February 2021 according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics’ figures, which means jobs supported by our state’s resources sector would now be well over 420,000,” he said.

“Twenty-four per cent of our CEOs are also planning to increase employment at their Queensland operations over the next 12 months, with half expecting to increase their workforce by more than 25 per cent.

“This is a huge vote of confidence in our sector which benefits every Queenslander through a stronger state economy and more jobs.”

Other stories

WATCH: Clever plan to attract investors, residents to region

New budget, executive revealed as CQ councils band together

Miners call for Grosvenor senior leaders to be sacked