Port Kembla and Whyalla to benefit from regional green steel fund injection

The Federal Government has allocated two projects $200 million in grant funding through the inaugural round of the Powering the Regions Fund (PRF).

Liberty steel albo
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese with Liberty Steel Group representatives. Image: Liberty Steel Group

The opening round of the Powering the Regions Fund (PRF) sees funds designated for two key players in the steel industry, BlueScope Steel Limited and Liberty Steel Australia, for projects set to unfold in New South Wales and South Australia.

A significant portion of the grant, amounting to $136.8 million, has been designated for BlueScope Steel Limited. The investment is geared towards the refurbishment and enhancement of its No. 6 Blast Furnace at the Port Kembla Steelworks. This initiative aims not only to sustain domestic production but also to reduce emissions, charting a trajectory towards the production of more environmentally friendly steel in the future.

Meanwhile, Liberty Steel Australia is set to receive $63.2 million from the PRF to facilitate the acquisition and commissioning of a low-carbon electric arc furnace (EAF). This modern EAF is slated to replace the traditional blast furnace at the Whyalla Steelworks, positioning Liberty to manufacture green steel and fulfill its commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2030.

These grants mark the inauguration of the Critical Inputs to Clean Energy Industries program under the PRF. This program specifically targets challenging-to-decarbonize sectors like steel, recognizing their role in supporting Australia's continued production of essential materials for the energy transition.

These strategic investments are poised to yield multifaceted benefits, including the creation of job opportunities and the preservation of existing employment, with a focus on skill development through retraining initiatives.

“This $200 million investment in the steel sector is about securing the long-term future of the steel industry in Australia. As we undergo the transformation to Net Zero it is vital that we support our industries to adopt and manufacture cleaner technologies,” said Federal Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen.

“Steel is essential for our energy transformation. 90% of the materials that go into making a wind turbine are steel and cement, and we're going to need a lot more of it.”

“Total steel demand for the energy transformation from 2022 to 2050 will be almost 5 billion tonnes, accounting for 75% of the total material requirement – and that steel will increasingly be green steel.”

“We want to make sure products vital to our economic future like green steel are made in Australia, but this will require innovation and new ways of processing iron ore that decarbonise our steel industry,” Bowen pledged.

“Regions like the Illawarra and Whyalla have been industrial powerhouses for generations, making the steel used in building our houses, infrastructure and industry, while creating jobs, and we want to see this continue.”

The Albanese Government, extending its commitment to hard-to-abate sectors, has also pledged an additional $200 million in grant funding for the cement and lime, alumina, and aluminum industries. The specifics of successful projects in these sectors are slated to be unveiled in the upcoming months.

To read more about Australia's green steel future, go to the CSIRO website here.

Resources Industry Partners


Events, grants, news, resources and project announcements. Stay informed via our newsletters.