‘Sick of the boom and the bust’: Gladstone's hydrogen future
A CAUTIOUS approach has been taken with comparisons between Gladstone's LNG boom and a burgeoning hydrogen industry.
Two major announcements were made at a regional forum in the city yesterday: one to add renewable hydrogen into the gas network and another to build a chemical complex designed to produce ammonia at industrial scale.
Minister for State Development Cameron Dick said Gladstone's industrial might and deepwater port made it well positioned to take advantage of the opportunities presented by renewable hydrogen.
"It's small steps at this stage, we need to be realistic about the development of this industry, but as we see from this forum today there is incredible interest," he said.
Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher said recent announcements showed Gladstone was open for business and the industry would build over the next decade.
"We're sick of the boom and the bust, we want to get back to nice long, stable growth here in Gladstone," he said.
Mayor Matt Burnett predicted a slower expansion than the LNG boom, saying it would build as the commercial case for hydrogen strengthened.
"Obviously you have to scale up," he said.
Cr Burnett said CQUniversity's partnership with the hydrogen/natural gas project was particularly exciting for the region.
Australian Gas Infrastructure Group adviser Vikram Singh said blending up to 10 per cent hydrogen with the city's gas network would be an Australian first.
"It is entirely feasible, and that is our aim, to convert all our networks to 100 per cent hydrogen by no later than 2050," he said.
CQUniversity Associate Vice-Chancellor Owen Nevin said the partnership would create opportunities to deliver the skills and training needed as the industry ramps up.
H2U CEO Dr Attilio Pigneri said the H2-Hub in Gladstone would be built in stages to integrate up to 5000 tonnes of ammonia production capacity per day.
The process uses electrolysis to split water molecules, producing hydrogen and oxygen.
The other ingredient in ammonia is nitrogen, which makes up 78 per cent of the air.
"Air and water and renewable electricity are the three ingredients," he said.
Japan will be a key target market for export for both green hydrogen and ammonia.