One of Australia’s most successful businessmen Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest could be bringing hydrogen to the Hunter.
His Fortescue Industries (FFI) is today signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with energy giant AGL to explore the development of a green hydrogen facility at their Liddell and Bayswater power stations in Muswellbrook.
The plan is that a feasibility study will be carried out over the next 12 months to map key operational and commercial plans for the project and enable the development of a production timeline.
AGL CEO and Managing Director, Graeme Hunt said the project would be powered by clean energy, delivered through grid-scale batteries, solar thermal storage, wind, pumped hydro and the co-location of industry as part of their ‘Hunter Energy Hub’.
“We have a long history of supporting the development of new technology as early investors in wind and other renewables and we want to do the same in partnerships with Australia’s emerging hydrogen industry,” Graeme Hunt said.
“Fortescue is leading the charge on the development of green hydrogen in Australia and abroad, and we are excited to bring our site and expertise in large-scale renewable generation to the fold.”
“We believe this project, along with the others in our Hunter Energy Hub, could drive the development of around 1,000 permanent jobs across energy production, advanced manufacturing, recycling and the production of chemicals.”
“Early estimates suggest the site can ultimately support a hydrogen facility of GW scale, but we will also test critical inputs including renewable energy costs, firming requirements, electrolyser capital costs, logistics and utilisation.”
FFI Founder and Chair, Dr Andrew Forrest AO, said FFI’s goal is to turn regional Australia into the global green energy heartland and create thousands of jobs now and so many more in the future.
“Repurposing existing fossil fuel infrastructure with forward looking companies like AGL to create green hydrogen to help power the world, is the solution we have been looking for,” Dr Forrest said.
“I wish to thank my forward-looking friend AGL Managing Director and CEO, Graeme Hunt, who the first iron ore industry leader to declare my then embryonic iron ore company, Fortescue Metals Group, as a very real future player in the highly competitive iron ore industry – thank you Graeme for exercising the same vision today.”
“Green hydrogen is the only true zero-carbon, zero-methane fuel – every other type of hydrogen requires the burning of fossil fuels.”
Image credit: Jemma Pepper