Deal on hydrogen
Townsville at heart of state’s green gas export
THE company working to decarbonise Korea Zinc’s metal operations, Ark Energy Corporation, has signed an agreement with the Port of Townsville to collaborate on the export of hydrogen.
It is planning to develop SUNHQ hydrogen hub at the Stuart refinery to produce liquid hydrogen fuel for hydrogen trucks and for export to South Korea.
The memorandum of understanding was signed in Townsville on Tuesday.
Ark Energy chief executive Daniel Kim said initially the goal was to build North Queensland’s domestic hydrogen economy through supporting fleet owners to transition from diesel to zeroemissions, which can be refuelled at SUNHQ.
Ark Energy will begin that process with sister companies Sun Metals and Townsville Logistics.
“Ark Energy is helping Sun Metals accelerate their own energy transition and help them be the first refinery in the world to produce green zinc,” Mr Kim said.
“We’re also helping Townsville Logistics decarbonise the ultra heavy prime movers and transition away from diesel.”
Mr Kim said investments in solar and the Macintyre Wind Farm near Warwick was helping Sun Metals get to 85 per of its power being generated from renewable energy sources by 2025.
“We’re well on track to achieve our commitments as part of the RE100 global initiatives to power the entire operations of the refinery from renewable energy sources,” he said.
Mr Kim said stimulation and building the regional economy in North Queensland was critical to Ark Energy’s strategy.
Hydrogen Development Assistant Minister Lance Mccallum said Townsville would be critical to a successful hydrogen industry in Queensland. “We are blessed with so much renewable energy here, which will cater not only for our domestic needs as we hurtle towards 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030,” he said.
“We’re going to be able to use our abundant renewables to power and decarbonise our industries here in Queensland … as well as help out international partners like South Korea decarbonise their economies where they don’t have access to the same amount of renewables.”
The state government has backed Sun Metals with a $5m grant from the Hydrogen Industry Development Fund to help kickstart hydrogen production in the North.
Port of Townsville chief executive Ranee Crosby said the city, with a deepwater port and proximity to Asia, had a strategic edge to become a global hub for producing and exporting hydrogen.
“Facilitating the production, usage and export of green hydrogen is one of the port’s strategic goals,” she said.
Mayor Jenny Hill said at about 300,000 people, Townsville would become sustainable.
“We really need to reach that, but the only way we can is through jobs,” Ms Hill said.
“These sorts of industries will produce long-term jobs for decades to come.
“It’s got to be that shift in mindset around the new energies that are coming out, and hydrogen is the big one. It’s the one the world is looking for to power their big manufacturing industries as well as everything right down to the average passenger vehicle.”
If this project comes to fruition, there may be thousands of jobs along the supply chain.