Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) will build the world’s largest green energy hydrogen manufacturing facility in Central Queensland, mining billionaire and company founder Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest says.
- Fortescue Future Industries’ new facility is expected to double the world’s green hydrogen capacity
- The $1 billion-plus investment is expected bring thousands of jobs into the future
- When completed, its green hydrogen manufacturing facility will be the biggest of its kind in the world
The first step in the project — a $115 million manufacturing facility set to be built in Aldoga, west of Gladstone — is expected to double the world’s green hydrogen production capacity and bring thousands of jobs to Queensland’s energy industry for years to come.
The plant will be manufacturing green energy infrastructure and equipment — such as electrolysers, cabling and wind turbines — to create green hydrogen that will be exported across the world.
Mr Forrest said the announcement marked the first stage of a “billion-plus dollar”, six-step operation.
The first stage of the operation, which is expected to be completed early next year, is set to create 120 construction jobs and 53 operational jobs.
Mr Forrest described the proposed facility as a “breakthrough” for Australia’s green energy market that signalled the start of an industrial revolution.
“This is the future,” Mr Forrest said from the Port of Gladstone.
“We will not allow the world to keep on cooking — we will not allow our children to inherit a much-less stable environment.
“I’m convinced we have thousands of times more energy available than we’ll ever need.
Mr Forrest said the facility would double the world’s green hydrogen production capacity, with the first stage expected to produce 2 gigawatts of hydrogen electrolysers each year.
Electrolysers split hydrogen from water, producing emission-free energy.
Mr Forrest said he had spent the past 15 months travelling to 62 countries across the globe to determine the best location to build the facility.
“Queensland has the beautiful combination of wind and solar and you have a hard-working, educated people [and] a great government steering into a green hydrogen future,” he said.
Mr Forrest said he expected the first electrolysers to be produced and ready to be exported by 2023.
Renewable ‘energy superpower’
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the announcement secured Queensland as part of the “green renewably hydrogen energy revolution”.
“Hydrogen is part of Queensland’s future and [this] sets Queensland up to be an energy powerhouse in green renewable energy,” she said.
Ms Palaszczuk said the announcement was as significant for the state’s future as winning the right to host the 2032 Olympic Games.
“Our close proximity to Asia, our great trading relationships but, in terms of manufacturing, this will mean there will be ongoing jobs … into the thousands into the future,” she said.
The Premier said 300 jobs would be created in regional Queensland over the lifespan of the facility.
“Now we are moving to the next level. The next 11 years leading up to the Olympics will transform our state,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick said the announcement heralded “a sunrise on a new industry for Queensland”.
Mr Dick said while the world currently generated one gigawatt of electrolysers per year, the first stage of this facility would generate 2 gigawatts.
He said the facility would mean Traditional Owners in the Gladstone region could be offered secure work in the industry, while training would be set up in local high schools.
He said his company had committed to going carbon neutral by 2030.
The announcement comes as the federal government remains yet to set a target of net-zero emissions by 2050.
Australia has faced increasing international pressure to agree to the 2050 goal after the US and UK sought assurances of a sufficient reduction in emissions.