Gladstone, Queensland is reported to be the site for iron ore giant Fortescue Metals Group to develop one of the world’s largest hydrogen manufacturing hubs.
Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) revealed their recent proposal to build a Global Green Energy Manufacturing Centre (GEM), which will manufacture wind turbines, long-range electric cabling, solar photovoltaic cells, electrolysers and associated infrastructure.
Part of a six-stage project, it will also look to construg Australia’s first multi-gigawatt-scale electrolyser factory, with an initial capacity of 2 gigawatts.
No cheap project, the FFI believes the total investment could “be up to or in excess of” A$1 billion for electrolysers and other green industry equipment, depending on requirements.
“FFI’s goal is to become the world’s leading, integrated, fully renewable energy and green products company, powering the Australian economy and creating jobs for Australia as we transition away from fossil fuels,” said FFI chief executive Julie Shuttleworth.
“Our manufacturing arm, starting with electrolysers and expanding to all other required green industry products, will herald great potential for green manufacturing and employment in regional Australia.” FFI hopes construction of the GEM to begin in February 2022, with the first electrolyser scheduled for production in the first quarter of the year.
The GEM will be established in partnership with the Queensland government, which states that the first stage will create 120 construction jobs and 53 operational jobs, with over 300 jobs anticipated over the life of the project.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says: “Andrew Forrest [Fortescue’s chairman] and I both see Queensland’s great potential as a renewables exporter and manufacturer of hydrogen equipment,” she said.
“This partnership will create local jobs, support our economic recovery and create an advanced manufacturing industry in Gladstone that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the country.”