CQU ready to provide training support for Fortescue's proposed hydrogen electrolyser plant

12 October 2022

CQUniversity has welcomed Fortescue Future Industries (FFI's) proposal to build a 500 MW hydrogen electrolyser near Brisbane' saying the University is ready to provide the training support for the project.

The facility' proposed for Brisbane's Gibson Island (which is currently an ammonia plant)' would be capable of producing 70'000 tonnes of renewable hydrogen each year.

The plant currently produces ammonia using fossil fuels. The proposal would see it retooled to use green hydrogen.

CQUniversity's Chair of Hydrogen and Renewable Energy' Professor Murray Shearer said the proposal had a significant potential for employment and training in Central Queensland' particularly Gladstone.

"It's great to see another world-class Hydrogen project in Queensland'" Prof Shearer said.

"The strategic nature of this project cannot be overemphasised. Taking advantage of our abundant renewable energy and ensuring we have a secure and zero-carbon supply of fertilisers for our farmers.

"The knowledge and experience gained by rapidly driving forward on projects like this positions Australia for a lead role in the energy transition."

Prof Shearer said the electrolysers for the new plant would undoubtedly be manufactured in Gladstone at FFI's world-beating manufacturing complex' which is in an advanced state of construction.

He said this put CQU Gladstone's Marina Campus in an important position and would build upon an already established partnership with FFI.

"CQU is proud to be associated with FFI and host its local offices on our Gladstone campus'" he said.

"CQU looks forward to supporting FFI and all our industry partners in solving practical problems in this area and developing the enormous pipeline of talent required to drive this transformation of our economy."

ARENA is providing a grant of $13.7 million towards a $38 million front-end engineering and design (FEED) study. ARENA's funding will go to Fortescue Future Industries Pty Ltd (FFI) in consortium with Incitec Pivot Limited (IPL) to support the FEED study.

The study will examine the development of the electrolyser and potential integration into the ammonia plant.

The entire process will need about 1 GW of renewable energy contracts and that also forms part of the FEED study.

If built' the Gibson Island facility in Brisbane's Brisbane River would constitute one of the world's largest electrolysers. It would also be the world's first fully decarbonised renewable ammonia plant.