Major players in Japan’s energy market visited the Hunter this week taking a look at the region’s renewable and clean energy capabilities.
Japan’s Ambassador to Australia, the Japanese Consul General in Sydney, and key government and business delegates from the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) and Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) were in attendance.
The visit is being touted as a signal to local businesses that there is a growing view internationally that the region is establishing itself as a global gateway to new industries and resources.
Mike Newman from Investment NSW says the Hunter is ready to leverage its global freight and transport infrastructure to capitalise on growing international interest.
“Significant interest exists in how the Hunter is making its move to scaled renewables and clean energy like hydrogen as a baseload alternative to coal. Japan is very interested in the journey the Hunter is on to support a transition to a clean energy economy,” Mr Newman said.
The Japanese delegation was briefed by the Port of Newcastle, Hunter Hydrogen Taskforce, Hunter Hydrogen Technology Cluster NewH2, Orica, Newcastle Airport and Ampcontrol on a raft of planned infrastructure expansions that will support a uptick in freight and export capacity, particularly from the airport and Port.
They were also invited to a roundtable event hosted by Business Hunter and Hunternet showcasing energy technologies developed locally, and a dinner in the Hunter Valley.
Business Hunter CEO, Bob Hawes says it was a massive opportunity to shore up the relationship between the region and Japan.
“The Hunter is aligning itself as a key strategic energy investment centre for markets like Japan to take up our Hydrogen and other clean energy products,” Mr Hawes said.
Given Japan currently take up about forty percent of the Hunter’s global coal exports, it is a significant relationship to bring along as the region undergoes an energy transition.