Central Queensland Hydrogen Project

February 27th, 2024

Central Queensland Hydrogen Project (CQ-H2)

The project proponents are undertaking studies into the development of a large-scale renewable hydrogen production facility near Gladstone, Queensland, and a liquefaction plant at the Port of Gladstone, with focus on exporting liquid hydrogen to the Japanese market and supplying hydrogen for ammonia production for domestic and export markets.

Main proponents:

Stanwell Corporation Limited, Iwatani Corporation, Marubeni Corporation, Kansai Electric Power Company, Keppel Infrastructure

Main end-use classification:

Focus on liquid hydrogen export potential, ammonia and domestic applications also being evaluated

Status:

Under development – a feasibility study was completed in June 2022; after a bridging phase, the FEED study stage commenced in May 2023

Estimated cost:

(Feasibility study)
AUD$10.4 million

(FEED study) AUD$117 million

Other involvement:

 

Production details:

The project involves a phased development and aims to initially produce approximately 200 tonnes of renewable hydrogen per day by 2029, scaling up to 800 tonnes per day by the early 2030s

Location:

Queensland, Australia

Announced funding:

(Feasibility study)
AUD$2.17 million – Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA)

(FEED study)
AUD$15 million – Queensland Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Jobs Fund
AUD$20 million – ARENA

(Capital works-hub development)
Up to AUD$69.2 million to support establishment of a Central Queensland Hydrogen Hub – Australian Government Regional Hydrogen Hubs Program – Hub Implementation funding stream; of which Stanwell is the lead applicant (see full description for details)

 

Project description

(Note: This project is one of six applicants that have been shortlisted by ARENA and invited to submit a full application in the next stage of the AUD$2 billion Hydrogen Headstart Program.)

Stanwell Corporation (‘Stanwell’) is a Queensland Government owned corporation and a major provider of electricity to Queensland, the National Electricity Market, and large energy customers along the eastern seaboard of Australia. As part of its portfolio renewal strategy, Stanwell has identified renewable hydrogen as a key target market for transforming its business in a lower carbon future.

In May 2020, Stanwell and Iwatani Corporation signed a Memorandum of Understanding to undertake a concept study into a large-scale liquefied renewable hydrogen supply chain between Central Queensland and Japan. The study found that Central Queensland is a globally competitive location for renewable hydrogen production.

In November 2020, a partnership between Stanwell and Iwatani Corporation to progress planning on a new hydrogen export focused facility in Gladstone was announced.

In June 2021, it was announced that Stanwell had signed an Option Agreement with Economic Development Queensland to secure a 236-hectare site at Aldoga, west of Gladstone for its proposed hydrogen production facility.

In September 2021, key project announcements included:

  • ARENA announced up to AUD$2.17 million in funding to Stanwell to complete a feasibility study (at a cost of over AUD$10 million) to investigate the technical and commercial viability of a proposed green hydrogen export project to be located at Gladstone, Queensland. Additional funding support for the feasibility study was also provided through the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).
  • Stanwell and Iwatani formed a broader consortium to commence a detailed feasibility study into the proposed project (with consortium membership evolving as the project entered the FEED study stage).

The feasibility study investigated the complete hydrogen supply chain, including electrolysis, storage, handling, liquefaction, transportation, and shipping and was designed with the requirements of an investment decision to move to the front-end engineering and design (FEED) stage.

The feasibility study was completed in June 2022, with bridging activities progressed ahead of FEED studies. The project Feasibility Study was publicly released in December 2022 and offers further details on the technical, commercial and strategic aspects of the development as envisaged at the time of completion of the feasibility study.

In addition to the feasibility study, Stanwell also undertook studies into local workforce and manufacturing development. Work on these programs will continue throughout the bridging and FEED stages of the project.

Following a period of bridging activities, the FEED study stage began in May 2023. In the same month, ARENA announced that it had conditionally approved AUD$20 million in funding to Stanwell to support FEED studies for a large-scale renewable hydrogen project in Gladstone. In June 2022, as part of the State 2022-23 budget, it was announced that AUD$15 million from the Queensland Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Jobs Fund is to be allocated to progress the Central Queensland Hydrogen Project, particularly the planned FEED study.

At the time of commencement of the FEED study stage, the project plans involve a phased development with a commercial operations date of renewable hydrogen targeted for 2029 (initial production targeted at around 200 tonnes of hydrogen per day, installed electrolyser capacity at around 720 MW) ramping up in 200 tonnes per day increments as additional offtakes are secured, with full scale production capacity targeted at around 800 tonnes per day by the early 2030s (rated electrolyser capacity at around 2 gigawatts [GW], and which would require at least 7 GW of associated renewable solar/wind power generation capacity).

Amongst other things, the FEED study stage will examine the development of a hydrogen liquefaction facility at the Port of Gladstone that would produce 400 tonnes per day of liquefied hydrogen for export by the early 2030s.

Up to AUD$69.2 million in funding has been awarded to Stanwell to support the development of a Central Queensland Hydrogen Hub (through the Australian Government’s Regional Hydrogen Hubs Program – Hub Implementation funding stream). The Central Queensland Hydrogen Hub will bring together local, national and international companies and organisations to drive the development of the hydrogen industry in the region. Stanwell, as lead applicant, will work together with the other Central Queensland Hydrogen Hub participants to develop an implementation plan for the proposed concept. See media statement.

In May 2023, Keppel Corporation, in announcing it had joined the Central Queensland Hydrogen Project, also announced that it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Incitec Pivot Ltd. to further the development of a renewables-based ammonia production facility in Queensland, leveraging the accessibility to hydrogen supply from the Central Queensland Hydrogen Project. Produced ammonia would support the decarbonisation of Incitec Pivot’s domestic manufacturing assets and also exported to Singapore to meet Keppel’s zero or low-emissions power generation needs, with excess production marketed in Asia.

In September 2023, Worley announced that it had been awarded the front-end engineering and design (FEED) work for the Central Queensland Hydrogen (CQ-H2) Project.

In December 2021, it was announced that Stanwell and ACCIONA Energia had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on future energy supply for the proposed hydrogen facility.  In October 2023, Stanwell announced that it had signed a 15-year, 380-MW Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with ACCIONA Energía to purchase 100 per cent of the output from its planned Aldoga Solar Farm, 20 kilometres north-west of Gladstone. The solar farm is expected to start construction in early 2024. Stanwell plans to supply output from the Aldoga Solar Farm PPA to the Central Queensland Hydrogen (CQ-H2) Project. The Aldoga Solar Farm will be located adjacent to the proposed hydrogen production facility site for the CQ-H2 Project.

The project aims to (amongst other things):

  • Position Central Queensland as an Australian renewable hydrogen hub (the region has high-quality renewable energy resource and infrastructure).
  • Establish a first of its kind integrated hydrogen supply chain between Central Queensland, Japan and Singapore.
  • Achieve the target hydrogen pricing set by the off-takers, by deploying the supply chain at scale, including production, liquefaction, and shipping of hydrogen.
  • Improve the technology and commercial readiness of the project by leveraging expertise across the supply chain and long-term partnerships with key Japanese and Singaporean energy, gas and trading companies.

 

Updated: February 2024

Note: The feasibility study undertaken by Stanwell Corporation noted herein received funding from ARENA as part of ARENA’s Advancing Renewables Program. The views expressed herein are not necessarily the views of the Australian Government, and the Australian Government does not accept responsibility for any information or advice contained herein.