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Port of Newcastle looks to develop green hydrogen hub

Australia’s deepwater global gateway, Port of Newcastle, is partnering with Macquarie Group’s Green Investment Group and the Commonwealth Government’s Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to support the development of a hydrogen economy in the Hunter Region.

Port of Newcastle and Macquarie’s Green Investment Group have launched a $A3 million feasibility study into the development of a green hydrogen hub at the Port that includes the backing of a $A1.5 million funding grant from ARENA, secured under its Advancing Renewables Program. The hub, called the Port of Newcastle Hydrogen Hub, will initially be underpinned by a 40MW electrolyser that over time would increase to a capacity of over 1GW.

The feasibility study into the initial 40MW 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. These include mobility, bunkering, energy production and industrial uses at the scale necessary to position the Hunter at the centre of the emerging global green hydrogen opportunity. Developing these use cases would support the creation of local jobs during construction and operations, the development of new industries and contribute to Australia’s long-term economic and energy security.

The study will also assess the suitability of an optimal site within the Port which, given its large size and existing infrastructure, 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, all of whom will participate in the feasibility study. 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. These partnerships represent key industries in the Hunter Region including agriculture, mobility, export and bunkering, energy generation and transport. A Memorandum of Understanding has also been signed with the University of Newcastle as the project’s R&D partner.

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