Tuesday 9th of August 2022

on the footsteps of the holy grail...


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.

Key points:
  • 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.


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Australia’s biggest hydrogen developers have thrown their support behind the NSW government’s plan to offer $3 billion in incentives for green hydrogen projects, calling it a “leap forward” in scaling up the emerging industry.

NSW Energy Minister Matt Kean said the new strategy released on Wednesday to develop hydrogen for domestic use and export would help the state cut its carbon footprint in half by 2030 and create new opportunities that could grow the economy by more than $600 million this decade.


Mining magnate Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest, who is embarking on a major push into the clean-energy sector including seeking to build a $1.3 billion hybrid gas- and hydrogen-fuelled power plant at Port Kembla, said there would be “no bigger industry” in the future than green hydrogen and ammonia.

“It will dwarf the scale of iron ore, it will dwarf the scale of coal,” said Dr Forrest, the founder and chairman of iron ore miner Fortescue Metals Group.


Hydrogen, which burns cleanly and emits only water, is touted as an important growth technology in the push to arrest global warming due to its potential to decarbonise parts of the economy that cannot be easily electrified, such as a range of industrial processes or heavy transport.


Most of today’s hydrogen is limited to “grey hydrogen”, made from gas via a process that emits carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Green hydrogen, on the other hand, is produced when a renewable energy-powered electrolyser is used to split water into hydrogen and oxygen.

However, significant barriers to green hydrogen’s future as an energy source remain; the biggest being the prohibitively high cost of the technology to produce it compared to hydrogen made from fossil fuels.

“Hydrogen‐based fuels will need to overcome a number of hurdles in order to play a major role,” the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Wednesday.


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The Australian government is providing more funding to help launch the country’s hydrogen industry as Prime Minister Scott Morrison heads to Washington for talks where climate change is expected to be on the agenda. 

The Australian government revealed Monday it was boosting its existing A$1.2 billion (US$868.2 million) hydrogen investment, with the pledge of an additional A$150 million.


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Liberals shouldn't really be surprised by the demands from their National Party colleagues for fine detail over a net zero target. After all, it was the Prime Minister himself who laid down the terms for any such climate commitment. 

After Labor backed the 2050 target at the start of last year, Scott Morrison told 2GB he wasn't signing up "because no one can tell me how you can do it and at the same time protect jobs, keep electricity prices down and support industries, particularly those in rural and regional Australia". 

Jobs. Power prices. Industries. All must be protected.

Apparently, the Prime Minister is now convinced achieving all this is possible, but senior Nationals brought into the loop on the "plan" are demanding more detail. So far, they've been underwhelmed by what appears to be little more than a showbag of motherhood statements about "huge opportunities", "great futures", "technology not taxes" and "standing up for traditional industries" in the regions. 

They want to know why Angus Taylor was able to argue before the last election precisely how many jobs would be lost, how growth would be impacted and how high energy prices would soar under Labor's policy, yet can't offer a similar level of detail now about his own plan.

 Joyce's net zero predicament

Beyond demanding more detail, however, it's still unclear precisely what the Nationals want as part of any grand climate bargain. The party has taken a scattergun approach to this critical negotiation. Various thought bubbles have been raised with no clear set of unified National Party demands. 

Keith Pitt wants a taxpayer-funded $250 billion under-writing scheme for coal-sector businesses the banks won't touch. Barnaby Joyce wants an extension of the inland rail project to Gladstone. Matt Canavan would prefer to ignore the whole global movement to decarbonise and stick with coal, even if it means higher interest rates.

Perhaps it was considered a smart negotiating tactic not to reveal a price tag for the Nationals' support, but the lack of clarity on what the party is demanding beyond general assurances about regional jobs is puzzling. It makes it much harder for Barnaby Joyce to point to exactly what he's secured under any eventual deal. 

What precisely did he get that the Liberals weren't already offering? What did this tough negotiator achieve that former leader Michael McCormack could not? Make no mistake, Joyce needs to walk away from this negotiation with something big to explain his climate conversion.

After returning to the Nationals leadership four months ago, Joyce told the Australian Financial Review's Phil Coorey "the likelihood of Joyce getting endorsement from his party room to agree to net zero is zero. That's where the net zero lies". He was wrong to assume his party was unwilling to back the target. The party room had never even discussed it. And many (perhaps even most) had already accepted the rapid shift on the issue happening around them.

The National Farmers' Federation had backed the net zero target a year earlier. The Cattle Council, too. National Party state branches began to come on board, passing motions in support of the target. The membership was moving.

While Barnaby Joyce was talking down the prospects of his colleagues backing net zero, Deputy Leader David Littleproud, notably, was not. Littleproud has consistently kept open the prospects of a deal, based on adequately compensating farmers and the regions.

 Read more:https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-10-14/nationals-climate-deal-net-zero-puzzling-lack-of-clarity/100535458  FREE JULIAN ASSANGE NOW