$207.6 million hydrogen hub given green light in Hunter

The hub's approval is a boost for the hydrogen industry in NSW, setting up a supply chain for green hydrogen and a network of refuelling stations in the Hunter region and beyond.

Orica hunter hydrogen hub
The proposed Hunter Hydrogen Hub. Image: Orica.

The state government has given a $207.6 million green light to the Hunter Valley Hydrogen Hub. The funding is a collaborative effort between the NSW and Commonwealth Departments of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment, and Water.

Origin Future Fuels will lead the project on Kooragang Island, with construction expected to start in mid-2025. The hub aims to expedite the green hydrogen industry in the area, beginning with 55 megawatts of electrolyser capacity by 2026 and plans to scale up to over 1 gigawatt within a decade.

A big part of the hub's plan is to help cut emissions from industry. Most of the hydrogen produced will go to Orica's nearby ammonium nitrate plant, helping to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by more than 52,000 tonnes a year.

The project is also expected to create jobs. During construction, around 160 jobs will be available, with 10 permanent roles afterward.

In response to the approval, Minister for Climate Change and the Environment Penny Sharpe said, "This facility will be a regional cornerstone of the hydrogen industry, accelerating NSW’s shift towards clean technologies and net zero."

Reflecting on the project's potential to rejuvenate the Hunter region's economy, Minister for the Hunter Yasmin Catley said, "The Hub offers us an opportunity to bring back work lost when the former government shipped manufacturing jobs offshore...Today's announcement demonstrates the NSW Government is ambitious about our community’s future."

“Green hydrogen will play a critical role in Australia’s transformation to net zero. I am pleased to see this important project progressing, following the $70 million investment from the Commonwealth Government," Federal Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon said.

“The Albanese Labor Government is committed to supporting carbon intensive regions like ours to take advantage of the economic and job opportunities that come with more affordable and reliable renewable energy.”

The approval of the Hunter Valley Hydrogen Hub project signals a significant step towards realizing a sustainable and resilient energy future for New South Wales, exemplifying how collaborative efforts between government and industry can drive innovation and economic growth in the pursuit of environmental stewardship.

To read more detail about the Hunter Valley Hydrogen Hub, go to the Planning NSW website here.

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