Australian hydrogen hub receives A$100 million funding boost

A future hydrogen terminal near Whyalla in Australia has secured some A$100 million in funding commitments from state and federal governments, with expectations of substantive exports before the end of the decade.

The location, in South Australia’s Upper Spencer Gulf region, was earmarked by the previous federal government before last year’s election for future hydrogen projects.

Among them is what Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has described as a “large-scale export terminal” for “green” hydrogen.

“Because there’s such available land there of course, there’s abundant solar and wind resources, South Australia is primed to become a world-class low-cost hydrogen supplier, and the government has a comprehensive plan to develop a hydrogen industry in the Spencer Gulf,” Albanese told ABC North and West SA.

The government expects the local industry to produce as much as 1.8 million tonnes of hydrogen by 2030, and said it could also power steel production at the nearby Whyalla steelworks.

“You also have the potential for essentially green hydrogen, which is hydrogen created through renewable energy, to power the steel production, of green steel there in Whyalla for it to be an export hub as well,” Albanese added. 

Albanese said that $70 million of the $100 million would be provided by the federal government to help bolster the economic future of the region.

“Previously it was said, under a former government, that Whyalla would be wiped off the map. Well, the opposite is occurring,” he said.

“Whyalla has an extraordinarily optimistic future, by being a part of the production of green steel, by taking advantage of the enormous opportunities that are here with high quality magnetite. There is an opportunity that Australia has to be a renewable energy superpower and South Australia has been at the forefront of the transition.”