ARENA-backed project to investigate renewable hydrogen opportunities at the Port of Newcastle

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Image Credit: Australian Government | Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced $1.5 million in funding to support a feasibility study into the development of a 40 MW hydrogen hub at Port of Newcastle in New South Wales.

Led by Port of Newcastle and Macquarie’s Green Investment Group, the $3 million study will determine a broad and comprehensive range of potential use cases for green hydrogen, including customer-led studies into mobility, bunkering, energy production, and industrial applications such as renewable ammonia at scale for domestic fertiliser use.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the study would ultimately determine the optimal site within the Port for the hub as a springboard for renewable hydrogen to flow within the region and future export.

“Newcastle is the biggest port on the east coast, with 50 per cent of its capacity available for future industry development making it a great asset for the region to become one of the seven Clean Hydrogen Industrial Hubs my government is delivering,” Mr Morrison added.

“Not only does it have the highly skilled workforce and natural resources to sustain a hydrogen industry, the Port also has existing export routes to the important markets of Japan and Korea.

“We’re committed to developing a world-leading hydrogen industry while providing investment and growth opportunities for our communities like Newcastle and the Hunter.”

According to ARENA’s statement, the study will also investigate the potential to scale up hydrogen production for export, leveraging the Port of Newcastle’s existing domestic and international supply chain links.

“While stage one of the project is underpinned by a 40 MW electrolyser, the study will also consider the future staged scale up of an electrolyser to around 1 GW with the ability to produce up to 150,000 tonnes of hydrogen per year for domestic and export use,” reads the statement.

Other project partners include Snowy Hydro, Idemitsu, Keolis Downer, Lake Macquarie, Jemena, and project collaborators Macquarie Agriculture and the University of Newcastle.

Image Credit: <a href=”www.industry.gov.au”>Australian Government | Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources</a>