Published 27-10-2020
| Article appears in November 2020 Issue

Pilbara energy hub given Major Status backing


The Morrison government is helping fast-track the world’s largest green hydrogen and ammonia production facility, which is expected to create tens of thousands of jobs in Western Australia.

The proposed Asian Renewable Energy Hub (AREH) in the Pilbara region is expected to support more than 20,000 direct and indirect jobs during construction over 10 years, and 3000 jobs when fully operating.

In granting it Major Project Status, Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said the facility will include the world’s largest wind and solar electricity plant.

“The Asian Renewable Energy Hub has the potential to transform the East Pilbara and neighbouring Broome shire and to contribute to a major new export industry for Australia,” Ms Andrews said. “Not only will the plant be able to export at scale, it will also be able to supply industries in the region while creating new job opportunities and economic growth.”

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said the project would build on Australia’s strengths as a major energy exporter while helping to reduce global emissions.

“This project has the potential to help lower global emissions while building a new Australian industry that creates jobs and opportunities in regional Australia,” Mr Taylor said. “Projects like the Asian Renewable Energy Hub will help us achieve our ‘H2 under $2’ goal and position Australia as a world leader in clean hydrogen.”

The 'H2 for under $2' target is a goal set by the government to produce hydrogen fuel for under $2 per kilogram.

Mr Taylor said the Government’s Technology Investment Roadmap highlights hydrogen as one of the priority technologies to deliver a cleaner future for Australia.

Australia’s emerging hydrogen industry has the potential to generate 7600 new jobs by 2050, with exports estimated to be worth around $11 billion a year in additional GDP.

The government has committed more than $570 million to back the development of an Australian hydrogen industry.

AREH Project Director Brendan Hammond said securing Major Project Status represented a significant project milestone.

“It sends a strong signal to everyone involved, including potential customers and investors, that our project is at the forefront of an emerging green hydrogen industry for Australia, and the opening of a massive new export market to the fast-growing Asian economies to our north,” Mr Hammond said.

Major Project Status is the Commonwealth government’s recognition of the strategic significance of a project to Australia. It provides companies with extra support from the Major Projects Facilitation Agency, including a single entry point for Commonwealth Government approvals, project support, and coordination with state and territory approvals.


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