More than $4 billion in potential investment has been proposed in response to a recent call for expressions of interest for the the Hunter and Illawarra Hydrogen Hubs.
The NSW Government expects the hydrogen hubs to be pivotal in helping the state scale up the emerging green hydrogen industry by working with industry to support innovation and minimise the cost of infrastructure.
It had originally committed $70 million to accelerate the development of Hydrogen Hubs in New South Wales, starting with the Hunter and Illawarra.
Acting Premier Paul Toole said this huge commercial interest shows how much the regions are set to benefit with renewable energy and new low carbon technologies.
“Hydrogen Hubs will provide huge economic benefits for the Hunter and Illawarra, helping to secure jobs of the future,” he said.
“It also represents a huge export potential for our state, with the international market for green hydrogen expected to meet 24 per cent of the global energy demand by 2050, estimated to be worth $900 billion,” said Toole.
Treasurer and Energy Minister Matt Kean said the overwhelming response includes private sector plans to develop up to 5900MW of electrolyser capacity, more than eight times its initial 700MW target.
“The market has spoken. This is an overwhelming level of commercial interest and it shows our policies are sending the right signals to energy investors, making NSW the go-to state for energy investment,” said Kean.
“Twenty-one individual projects have told us they want to produce almost 268,000 tonnes of green hydrogen each year, which is enough to fuel 26,000 trucks. Hydrogen is integral to decarbonising many parts of the economy, including heavy industry and heavy transport,” said Kean.
At present CSIRO lists 86 Australian hydrogen-related projects with only seven currently operating, while the remainder are in different stages of development, planning or feasibility assessments.
As a major gateway to and from Greater Sydney, the Port of Port Kembla has been at the centre of industry and transport for over a century and has a 30-year history in the generation of hydrogen, through the existing Coregas facility.
Steel giant BlueScope has already announced that it will invest $20 million in a new BlueScope Renewable Manufacturing Zone (BRMZ) at Port Kembla in the Illawarra.
Port Kembla’s proximity to Sydney is considered an advantage for fast and easy access to the largest transport market in NSW, as well as renewable energy stakeholders, key peak industry bodies and major events – providing a chance to connect, target and convert international investors into partners for NSW and the Illawarra.
NUW Energy is already capitalising on this proximity through a collaboration of researchers from UNSW Sydney, the University of Wollongong and the University of Newcastle.
Port Kembla is just an hour away from the new Western Sydney Airport.
The NSW Government has high hopes that the Illawarra Hydrogen Hub will leverage existing infrastructure for the production and distribution of hydrogen at Port Kembla, initially building and servicing domestic demand while delivering export capacity and capability by 2030.