CQU welcomes $70m hydrogen budget commitment to Central Queensland

26 October 2022

CQUniversity has welcomed the focus on renewable energy as part of the latest Federal Budget' with a Gladstone-based project set to benefit from almost $70 million for a new hydrogen hub.

The Central Queensland Hydrogen Hub will bring together local' national and international companies and organisations committed to working together to drive the development of the hydrogen industry in the region' and CQUniversity said it is committed to its role as a partner in the hub and backing local industry when it comes to renewables research and skills and training.

The Stanwell Corporation will lead the proposed $69.2 million Central Queensland Hydrogen Hub project.

Funding will support the development of hydrogen projects and position Gladstone and Central Queensland as one of the world's leading hydrogen-fuelled industrial centres and global exporters of hydrogen.

CQUniversity's Chair of Hydrogen and Renewable Energy' Professor Murray Shearer' said the budget commitment was a significant milestone for the development of a world-leading hydrogen industry in the region.

"This funding isn't just a commitment in the hydrogen industry' but it's also an investment in the region's capability to support it'" Professor Shearer said.

"When it comes to renewables the future is incredibly exciting for Gladstone and the wider CQ region' and I am looking forward to the part that CQU can play.

"Central Queensland' and Gladstone in particular' is a region with all the elements investors are looking for to create a clean energy ecosystem. The world-class Port of Gladstone with open sea route to major economies like Japan' the proximity of large industry' and weather conditions suitable for cheaply and reliably generating clean energy such as wind and solar.

"We already have a highly skilled workforce and a community of specialised businesses supporting our existing industry' but we need to grow local workforces fast enough to meet the new demand.

"We have been working alongside industry partners for some time now' including on the application for the Hub funding' to determine that there is strong potential to establish Gladstone as a global powerhouse for producing' trading and exporting clean energy.

"We have established a Hydrogen and Renewable Energies Centre to meet future challenges and we have a dual focus on very practical hands-on research and training.

"We also have an ambitious proposal for a new renewables specific industry training centre that will complement existing infrastructure on the Gladstone Marina campus and allow us to increase our research and training outputs' including foundation skills' electrolyser operation' instrumentation and process control and advanced manufacturing.

"We are hoping to attract additional government and industry support in this space and seeing funds flowing into the region from the budget is a great step'" said Professor Shearer.