The opening of Fortescue’s Gladstone Electrolyser Facility marks the delivery of Australia’s first manufacturing facility capable of producing hydrogen electrolysers at a commercial scale, marking a major milestone in the nation’s hydrogen industry. 

This is the first stage of a wider Green Energy Manufacturing Centre being developed by Fortescue on the 100ha site located on the Aldoga Industrial Estate in the Gladstone State Development Area.

It has an initial production capacity of over 2GW per annum – significantly increasing current global production, and, at full capacity, enough to produce more than 200,000t of green hydrogen each year.

The next phase – a 50MW green hydrogen production facility called PEM50 – also received development approval from Queensland’s Coordinator General, paving the way for construction to begin.

PEM50 will use the locally made Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) electrolysers with approval to produce green hydrogen for local and export markets. Once operational it will be the first commercial scale green hydrogen facility for Fortescue.

Collectively, the two Fortescue projects will generate 240 jobs during construction and 93 ongoing local operational jobs. Fortescue estimates that as the energy precinct continues to develop, more than 300 indirect local jobs will also be supported.

The Queensland Government supported the project through the provision of an electrical substation, road network, communications, and local scheme water connection, as well as the allocation of land.

Hydrogen is diverse and can be used in a range of ways including transport fuel, for industrial heating, and as a feedstock for other chemicals such as methanol.

Queensland Premier, Steven Miles, said that Fortescue’s Gladstone Electrolyser Facility is not only a Queensland first, but also an Australian first.

“It will be by far Australia’s largest manufacturer of hydrogen electrolysers and one of the largest in the world,” Mr Miles said. 

“This is why one of my first announcements as Premier was to commit to 75 per cent emissions reduction by 2035 on the path to net zero because it means accelerating investment in good clean economy jobs in our industrial heartlands.

“Queensland is now leading the nation on investment in renewable energy, and we are now seeing that translate into good manufacturing jobs in our regions”.  

Queensland Minister for Industry and Science, Ed Husic, said that this demonstrates the government’s commitment to a Future Made in Australia, while also helping the country make the transition to net zero.

“We can cut emissions and increase jobs at the same time,” Mr Husic said. 

“Regional Queensland can play an important role here, and we are investing in its ability to do just that.

“This Hydrogen Gigafactory shows what can be achieved when government and industry work together for the long-term good of the country.”

Queensland Deputy Premier, Cameron Dick, said that when Queensland’s regions are strong, Queensland is strong.

“This world class industrial facility will support good, secure manufacturing jobs in Central Queensland for generations to come,” Mr Dick said. 

Queensland Minister for State Development, Grace Grace, said that the State Government is proud to have worked alongside Fortescue over the past three years to deliver one of Australia’s leading hydrogen industry projects.

“It’s projects like this that bring our visionary strategies like the Queensland New-Industry Development Strategy, the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan, and the Queensland Hydrogen Industry Development Strategy to life,” Ms Grace said. 

“Fortescue could have made this significant investment anywhere in Australia, and they chose Queensland thanks to the support the government could offer through my department when it came to things like a single point of contact for project management and coordination, fast tracking approvals, and provision of trunk infrastructure.

“This means jobs for Queenslanders, innovative industries for our regions, and places like Gladstone continuing their vital role in providing energy now and into the future.”

Queensland Minister for Energy, Mick de Brenni, said that this project is another example of the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan bringing new industries to the Sunshine State and creating opportunities for local manufacturing and international exports.

“By onshoring the manufacture of hydrogen industry components, Queenslanders will reap enduring benefits all the way through the value chain, as global industry transforms and decarbonises.

“Having local manufacturing capability and energy independence has never been more important, and this project helps to achieve both.”

Queensland Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing and Member for Gladstone, Glenn Butcher, said that Gladstone is at the forefront of growing new industries to build on Queensland’s sovereign industrial capability.

“New industries like this provide opportunities for local manufacturers to become part of the domestic supply chain and also export their products to the world,” Mr Butcher said. 

“I’m proud to announce GAWB has concluded negotiations with Fortescue for their long-term Water Supply Contract for their Green Electrolyser Facility and future hydrogen pilot plant.”

Fortescue Energy CEO, Mark Hutchinson, said that this facility will position Gladstone as a leading Australian manufacturer of green energy technology. 

“The world is looking for solutions to decarbonise, and green hydrogen has a major role to play in this. As the demand for green hydrogen grows, so too will the demand for the electrolysers needed to produce it,” Mr Hutchinson said. 

“This facility, delivered and commissioned in less than two years and with one of the only automated production lines of its kind, is a demonstration of what is possible when governments and business work together in the interests of our economy and our environment.”

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