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$207.6 million hydrogen hub given green light in Hunter

31 May 2024

In a major step for the state’s renewables sector, the NSW Government has given planning approval to a $207.6 million hydrogen hub in the Hunter.

The State Significant Development at Kooragang Island led by Origin Future Fuels is expected to begin construction in mid-2025. The hub will initially deliver approximately 55 megawatts of electrolyser capacity by 2026, with an aim to scale up to over 1 gigawatt of capacity over the next decade.

Green hydrogen is created through electrolysis (splitting of water into hydrogen and oxygen) which can be used as a feedstock in industrial processes and as a fuel source in the transport sector.

The development will support the hydrogen industry in NSW by establishing a commercial-scale green hydrogen supply chain and a hydrogen refuelling network for the Hunter Region and NSW.

It will be used by industry, with the majority going to Orica’s nearby ammonium nitrate manufacturing facility to help decarbonise its operations with green hydrogen and made available to transport customers through onsite and satellite refuelling stations.

The development will save the equivalent of more than 52,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year from Orica’s facility.

The project will create 160 construction jobs with 10 ongoing roles.

It has been funded by $45 million from the NSW Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water and $70 million from the Commonwealth Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water.

For more information visit the Hunter Valley Hydrogen Hub.

Quote attributable to Minister for Climate Change and the Environment Penny Sharpe:

“This facility will be a regional cornerstone of the hydrogen industry, accelerating NSW’s shift towards clean technologies and net zero.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Paul Scully:

“The Minns Government is committed to seeing viable renewable projects move through the planning system efficiently to make sure we are working towards our goal of Net Zero by 2050.

“Without a supportive or efficient planning system in NSW we are not going to have the investment we need to decarbonise our industries and support job growth in our regions.”

Quote attributable to Minister for the Hunter Yasmin Catley:

“NSW has the potential to be a leading producer of green hydrogen and so does the Hunter as the country’s largest regional economy.

“The Hub offers us an opportunity to bring back work lost when the former government shipped manufacturing jobs offshore.

“The approval of the Hub follows this week’s announcement of the Future Jobs and Investment Authority.

“It is a clear sign that the NSW Government is investing in the future of the Hunter, shoring up our energy grid and unleashing the Hunter's potential to once again be a manufacturing powerhouse.

“Workers expect the NSW Government to be making investments to unlock new industry in the Hunter and ensure our region has stable, good paying jobs well into the future.

"Today's announcement demonstrates the NSW Government is ambitious about our community’s future."

Quote attributable to Federal Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon:

“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.

“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.”