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Fortescue Future Industries (FFI), publicly-owned Powerlink and Economic Development Queensland (EDQ) have signed agreements to allow renewable electricity to power proposed hydrogen projects.

These agreements are set to connect sites at Gibson Island and Aldoga near Gladstone to Powerlink’s transmission network.

Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Steven Miles, said the parties had agreed to work together to build new transmission connections that will power FFI’s Queensland developments.

“FFI is seeking to build a facility at Gibson Island to produce around 50,000 tonnes of renewable hydrogen per year. Connection to the transmission network is vital to allow green energy to power this facility,” Mr Miles said.

“Queensland’s constantly growing fleet of renewable power stations will provide the energy to produce green hydrogen ready for export to overseas markets like Japan and South Korea.

“By working with Powerlink, FFI will receive a streamlined service across their Queensland connection developments, which could be up and running as soon as 2023.”

To support the Gibson Island facility, Powerlink will construct a new 275kV switchyard at its existing Murarrie Substation and two 275kV feeders to Gibson Island.

Works at Aldoga will include establishing a connection to Powerlink’s existing Larcom Creek substation, a 275kV overhead transmission line, and a new substation at the Aldoga facility.

Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment, Cameron Dick, said that as more companies look to decarbonise, more jobs would be created in the state.

“Powerlink, Queensland’s publicly-owned transmission network, will play an integral role in decarbonising our economy,” Mr Dick said.

“This agreement will help establish Queensland as one of the world’s leading green energy hubs for hydrogen production, and for jobs in more energy-intensive industries supported by that renewable power.”

Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Minister, Mick de Brenni, said the Queensland Government was investing in building new transmission which will help secure jobs in Queensland.

“By establishing Renewable Energy Zones across the state, the Queensland Government will enable a new market for thousands of megawatts of new renewable energy,” Mr de Brenni said.

“Powerlink’s transmission network will then deliver this clean energy to places like Gibson Island and Gladstone where it will be converted in to green hydrogen and green ammonia.

Growing Queensland’s green hydrogen industry will lead to new jobs and global decarbonisation solutions for the state’s trading partners.

Fortescue Future Industries Founder and Chair, Dr Andrew Forrest, said FFI is excited to be progressing these green hydrogen production opportunities in Queensland. 

“We look forward to working with Powerlink to use the grid to deliver green power to our projects, enabling us to move quickly and supporting the entry of more renewables and decarbonisation of the electricity network,” Dr Forrest said.

Powerlink Chief Executive, Paul Simshauser, said connecting renewable energy to emerging loads like hydrogen production showed the important role of the transmission network in delivering Queenslanders a world class energy future.

“Not only will Powerlink’s network supply more renewable energy to five million Queenslanders, it will also drive economic development across the state by powering new industries such as hydrogen,” Mr Simshauser said.

“These agreements mark the beginning of what I hope will be a long relationship between FFI, EDQ and Powerlink.”

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