DBI has signed up with Itochu, North Queensland Bulk Ports and the Brookfield Group to investigate the option of a hydrogen facility at its Hay Point facility.
Itochu is heavily involved in getting hydrogen off the ground and is already committed to the Gladstone energy and ammonia project, but it also has projects in Canada and Japan where the Government is committed to using hydrogen to meet its energy needs.
DBI chief executive Anthony Timbrell said the port was ideally placed to develop green hydrogen because it had deep water access and it was within the Mackay industrial zone as well as a Queensland Government renewable energy zone.
Green hydrogen uses renewable energy to split the hydrogen and oxygen. It remains commercially unviable, but many believe its costs will reduce dramatically as more companies get involved to meet government mandates. Blue hydrogen involves the use of fossil fuels in the production.
Timbrell said DBI remained committed to its existing coal customers but the possible addition of a hydrogen facility and products would “complement our current export position” and would mean the terminal would play an even bigger role in satisfying the world’s need for low-carbon energy and steel.
He said the first stage of the feasibility would start this year.
DBI is also part-owned by the State Government and the hydrogen proposal has its support.
The Government is also backing the Gladstone project as well as one next to the Kogan Creek power station, near Chinchilla. It has also signed up to develop a liquid hydrogen facility at Townsville.
Transport Minister Mark Bailey said ports need to be ready to capitalise on the future demand for exported hydrogen.
“Queensland is already a leading energy exporter and the world is now looking to us to become a leading producer of hydrogen as the next energy source,” Bailey said.
“Renewable hydrogen can be stored and used over time and as a future energy source, it is one of the most promising solutions to reducing global emissions, particularly in the transport and heavy industry sectors.
“Hay Point is a critical part of our state’s supply chain and Queensland’s economy, connecting regional Queensland to power, food and steel industries in Asia.”