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Hydrogen Export Plans Boost for Jobs
Hydrogen Export Plans Boost for Jobs

Townsville’s bid to become a renewable hydrogen powerhouse has been strengthened with the signing of another Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to investigate the process and feasibility of exporting hydrogen through the city’s Port. The Port of Townsville and Edify Energy Pty Ltd will today sign an MoU to work together to advance Edify’s renewable hydrogen export project.  The signing of the MoU follows Edify’s recent development approval to build and operate a renewable hydrogen production plant with up to 1GW electrolyser for 5,000 - 150,000 H2 tonnes per year of renewable hydrogen at the Lansdown Eco-Industrial Precinct, 46km south of Townsville. Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni said Queensland has a track record of creating energy export industry and the Palaszczuk Government was getting the investment settings right to capitalise on renewable hydrogen. “We are positioning Queensland as a global powerhouse for clean energy exports and the decent, secure jobs that will create for Queenslanders,” Mr de Brenni said. “Renewable hydrogen will boost construction, utilities, heavy manufacturing, and a range of local service industries. “That equals more jobs in more regional industry in Townsville and across the state.” Assistant Minister for Hydrogen Development and the 50% Renewable Energy Target by 2030 Lance McCallum said Queensland is fast becoming a renewables superpower. “Queensland renewables mean more highly skilled jobs, both now and in the industries of the future. “Our publicly owned ports are essential to exporting our renewable hydrogen to the world.” Member for Mundingburra and Hydrogen Champion Les Walker said agreements like this positioned Townsville as a green hydrogen powerhouse. “Townsville is well placed to take advantage of this growing industry, particularly as the world looks toward alternative energies,” Mr Walker said. “We have the facilities at the Port of Townsville to export hydrogen, our workers have the skills and the city is primed to take advantage of the new jobs which will come from this emerging industry.” “This announcement also shows the importance of the Lansdown Eco-Industrial Precinct which is why the Palaszczuk Government is investing in the site.” Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper welcomed the agreement between Edify Energy and the Port of Townsville. “This agreement, among a number of others the Port of Townsville has signed, show the confidence major companies have in the potential for hydrogen in the city,” Mr Harper said. “As a government we’re backing the hydrogen industry because we know there are huge opportunities in this emerging industry and it will create new jobs. “That’s why the Palaszczuk Government is investing in the $232 million channel upgrade at the Port of Townsville because we know there are real opportunities to grow the port and bring new industries to the city.” Edify Chief Executive Officer John Cole said Townsville’s existing infrastructure and industry was well placed to establish a renewable hydrogen production and export industry.  “We are excited to be working with the Port of Townsville and other project proponents in the region.  This MoU is another milestone for our project on its path to exporting renewable hydrogen and for Townsville’s journey to establishing sustainable long-term jobs and industry,” he said. “Using a renewable energy source to produce large-scale green hydrogen means Townsville will be perfectly poised to be North Queensland’s hydrogen hub and export capital on the east coast.  This is where future proofed jobs are created, new skills are learned, existing industries and infrastructure leveraged, manufacturing and communities thrive.” Port of Townsville Chief Executive Officer Ranee Crosby said North Queensland is uniquely positioned to play a leading role in the world's growing demand for hydrogen, presenting significant opportunities for the region. “Hydrogen made with renewable energy is completely carbon free and is a flexible energy carrier that can power almost anything that requires energy,” said Ms Crosby. “This versatility, partnered with Townsville’s global connectivity and highly-skilled workforce, represents boundless opportunities to align the North’s economic prosperity with global ambitions to transition to a clean energy future.” “The Port recently released our Port Vision 2050 – our roadmap for the next 30 years – which has a strong emphasis on action on climate change and committing to a climate positive future. “Facilitating the production, usage and export of green hydrogen is one of the Port’s key strategic goals.” Edify Energy joins a growing list of proponents seeking to export renewable hydrogen through the Port of Townsville, including Origin Energy and Ark Energy Corporation.  

Cars and containers buoy Port profits
Cars and containers buoy Port profits

Significant surges in the number of motor vehicles and containerised goods imported through the Port of Townsville helped deliver modest profit growth in the face of another challenging year.In 2020-21, the Port of Townsville delivered a strong operating result of $14.3 million, up 3.3 per cent on the previous year, despite the ongoing impacts of the pandemic.While overall trade dropped to 7.7 million tonnes compared to 8.2 million tonnes the previous year, containerised trade rose 17 per cent and motor vehicle imports increased 34 per cent. The Port also recorded increased trade in exports of fertiliser and refined metals and imports of cement, fertiliser and petroleum products.Port of Townsville Chief Executive Officer Ranee Crosby said the result was a positive one as the global landscape continued to be redefined by uncertainty.“As the world changes, we have maintained a strong focus on keeping vital trade moving to support the people and the economy of North Queensland,” Ms Crosby said.“An overall decline in trade was driven by changes in mineral concentrates supply chains, with refineries sourcing larger volumes from mines in the region instead of overseas. This highlighted the strength of the North West Minerals Province to service refineries in our region.“We welcomed strong growth in containerised and motor vehicle imports, and North Queensland’s resilience in such times demonstrates how vital it is that we continue to facilitate trade for the diverse range of industries. On top of that our continuing capital works program will guarantee our region’s growth for the years to come.”The Port of Townsville’s investment in its trade facilitation throughout 2020-21 included: Continuation of the largest infrastructure project in the Port’s history, the $232 million Channel Upgrade project. Construction of the 2.2km rock wall and 62ha reclamation area is now complete and capital dredging is due to begin in late 2021. Completion of the $30 million Berth 4 Ship-to-Shore Crane and Cargo Area to grow container and general cargo trade in the region. Completion of a $4.5m truck staging area to reduce congestion and improve safety and efficiency of truck movements. Commissioning the new $3.3 million custom-built pilot vessel, Mantaray. Signing a Memorandum of Understanding with Origin Energy to export hydrogen to Asia, and advanced investigations with a number of other proponents including Ark Energy and Edify Energy to develop clean energy projects that could drive significant economic growth for the region. The Port’s 2020-21 Financial Year was also punctuated by an increased commitment to sustainability with the release of Port Vision 2050, a strategic roadmap for the next 30 years. Port Vision 2050 outlines 12 strategic objectives and 27 initiatives across four priority areas to capture the Port's long-term vision and chart a course for achieving it.“We took some big strides toward achieving Port Vision 2050 in its first six months including the launch of a $50,000 Port Community Fund through which we were proud to support 17 community initiatives by charities, not-for-profits and community groups,” Ms Crosby said.“Other commitments under Post Vision 2050 are well underway including our efforts to become carbon neutral for port operations by 2025, planting one million additional native trees by 2050 and delivery of the $1.6 billion Port Expansion Project by 2050.”

Truckies driving efficiencies at the Port
Truckies driving efficiencies at the Port

A new $4.5 million truck staging area is open for business at the Port of Townsville, providing safer access for the 300,000 trucks that pass through the Port gates each year. Up to 20 triple road trains can assemble just outside the Port’s main gates on Benwell Road at any one time, easing congestion and improving safety on Port roads. The purpose built 13,000 square metre combined truck-trailer lay-up area provides comforts for truck drivers including toilet amenities and shaded outdoor rest areas. Queensland Trucking Association CEO Gary Mahon said he was pleased the Port was providing a welcoming place for truck drivers where they can safely wait while vessels are loading. “The safe and efficient operations of our Ports is vital to ensure export markets can continue to grow,” he said. “This development will increase productivity and provide comforts to truck drivers who have been essential in keeping Queensland moving and industries operating throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.” Port of Townsville Acting Chief Infrastructure Officer Anton van Staden said the new truck staging area would reduce congestion on Port roads, to improve efficiencies with increasing trade and cargo at the Port. “Around 300,000 truck movements are recorded at the Port each year, with much of the cargo handled through the Port transported via road.  During vessel loading trucks have queued along Port roads for extended periods, disrupting traffic and posing potential safety risks.  This new truck staging area will significantly reduce congestion, thereby improving safety and the ease of cargo movements,’’ he said. Member for Mundingburra Les Walker said upgrading the Port of Townsville and its facilities was essential. “The Port is a key part of the city and a major economic driver which is why the new truck staging area is important,” he said.  This project will help increase efficiency at the Port of Townsville which is a key part of our economic recovery from COVID-19.” The area, which is in the process of being landscaped, caters for the breakdown and reassembly of road trains as required. Only Port authorised trucks will be allowed to access the facility, which includes lighting and surveillance cameras monitored by Port security. Local company RMS Engineering and Construction undertook the works, which generated 16 full-time jobs and provided employment for local tradies throughout the construction period.

Port builds North Queensland's hydrogen future
Port builds North Queensland's hydrogen future

North Queenslanders could be shipping 120,000 tonnes of renewable hydrogen to South Korea in the next decade with the Port of Townsville and Ark Energy signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) today. Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni said a feasibility study will investigate the development of a renewable hydrogen facility focused on the transport industry at Sun Metals’ zinc refinery in Townsville, along with hydrogen export facilities at the Port of Townsville. “The Palaszczuk Government’s economic recovery plan is all about creating more jobs and more industries,” Mr de Brenni said. “That’s exactly what we’ll see in North Queensland as a major hub in Queensland’s hydrogen supply chain. “We’ve backed Sun Metals with a $5 million Hydrogen Industry Development Fund grant to kickstart hydrogen production in the North. “Now, through partnerships like this one, Queensland hydrogen will help decarbonise the world and create decent, secure jobs for regional Queenslanders. “Our key strategic advantage in Queensland is our State-owned ports.” Minister for Resources and Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said the Port of Townsville was a key piece of infrastructure when it comes to developing hydrogen exports. “Sun Metals is one of Townsville’s most innovative businesses and it’s exciting to have their sister company, Ark Energy, plan to export renewable hydrogen to South Korea from Queensland’s publicly-owned port,” Mr Stewart said. Government Hydrogen Champion and member for Mundingburra Les Walker said this was a major step to developing a growing industry for Townsville. “There are potentially thousands of jobs in the hydrogen industry and Townsville is perfectly placed to take advantage of this,” Mr Walker said. “Already we’ve seen Ark Energy’s SunHQ hydrogen hub receive a grant through the Palaszczuk Government’s Hydrogen Industry Development Fund last year to produce renewable hydrogen in Townsville. “In April, the Port of Townsville signed a MOU with Origin Energy to facilitate hydrogen exports to Japan and today’s agreement with Ark Energy is another exciting step to developing a local hydrogen supply chain and the jobs that will flow from it.” Assistant Minister for Hydrogen Development and the 50% Renewable Energy Target by 2030 Lance McCallum said there were great opportunities to create a new hydrogen industry in Queensland. “Today’s MOU between the publicly owned Port of Townsville and Ark Energy will help secure new and emerging jobs in Townsville,” Mr McCallum said. “The Palaszczuk Government has been a leader in backing hydrogen for the future which is why we launched the $2 billion Queensland Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Jobs Fund as well as the Hydrogen Industry Development Strategy.” Ark Energy Chief Executive Officer Daniel Kim said the initial goal is to build North Queensland’s domestic hydrogen economy by supporting fleet owners to transition away from diesel to zero emission hydrogen fuel cell commercial vehicles, which can be refuelled at SunHQ. “Ultimately our goal is to export green hydrogen to customers in Asia starting with our parent company in South Korea whose hydrogen demand could be as high as 200,000 tonnes per annum. “We believe that Townsville has the potential to become a major global hub for hydrogen exports. The MOU with the Port of Townsville is an important step in our journey to investigate this exciting export opportunity, which has the potential to transform the regional economy of North Queensland.” Port of Townsville Chief Executive Officer Ranee Crosby said Townsville, with our deep-water port and proximity to Asia, has a strategic edge to become a global hub for producing and exporting hydrogen – the energy of the future. “This is another exciting renewable energy project for the Port as green hydrogen becomes one of the most sought-after energy products on the world market,” she said. “We believe Townsville is well placed to be at the forefront of this energy revolution, which will also boost our economic development, create new jobs and substantially reduce our carbon emissions. “We recently released our Port Vision 2050 – our roadmap for the next 30 years – which has a strong emphasis on action for climate change. “Facilitating the production, usage and export of green hydrogen is one of the Port’s strategic goals.”

Green is the colour of community spirit
Green is the colour of community spirit

Clean, green projects feature high on the agenda for the Port of Townsville’s inaugural $50,000 Community Fund. The first annual Community Fund recipients include a mix of 17 sports, arts, environmental and social projects. Environmentally-friendly projects were among the big winners which is in line with the Port of Townsville’s strategic vision for the next 30 years, Port Vision 2050. Coastal Dry Tropics Landcare received $6,500 to build a new shade house at its recently relocated Bush Garden Nursery at Rowes Bay. Other eco-conscious projects supported by the Fund include an upgrade to NQ Football’s solar system, the replacement of Townsville Sailing Club’s ageing beach mats with 100% recycled 'Mobi Mats', and the refurbishment of 10 laptops for African refugees via LiteHaus International.