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Boosting WA’s hydrogen industry

The Pilbara Hydrogen Hub is set to become a major centre for hydrogen production and export. Image: Viktor Posnov/stock.adobe.com.

The federal and WA governments have joined forces with a $140 million agreement to build a hydrogen hub in the Pilbara in Western Australia (WA).

WA Premier Roger Cook said the hub was a key part of his government’s plan to turn WA into a global clean energy powerhouse.

“When it comes to producing and exporting world-leading products at a global scale, WA leads the way,” Cook said.

“This project will be WA-produced hydrogen on Asia’s doorstep, helping to strengthen and diversify our economy for the future.”

The Pilbara Hydrogen Hub will be a major centre for hydrogen production and export, with the potential to become an international gateway to Australian-made green steel and iron.

Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen said the hub would ensure the Pilbara’s future as a major energy producer and exporter.

“This hub will bring a new clean energy industry to the Pilbara, supporting the region’s world-class industries well into the future,” Bowen said.

“WA is already a global mining and export powerhouse, and it’s now primed to become a world-leading hydrogen supplier as well.”

WA Member for Pilbara Kevin Michel said the hydrogen hub would create hundreds of long-term local jobs for the region.

“Developing a hydrogen industry in the Pilbara means more jobs and a strong future for our local communities,” he said.

Construction on the road and intersection will start this year, with the hub becoming operational in mid-2028.

A planned pipeline could enable hydrogen production of around 492,000 tonnes per year – enough to decarbonise existing ammonia production on the Burrup Peninsula.

The combined $140 million investment ($70 million each from the Commonwealth and WA government) will help build infrastructure to support hydrogen exports and renewable energy production, as well as fund activities for a Clean Energy Training and Research Institute.

The institute will provide practical, job-focused training in renewable energy and hydrogen for Pilbara residents, including First Nations peoples.

The project will take place in the Pilbara, on the traditional lands of the Ngarluma and Kariyarra people. This also includes Murujuga, where the traditional custodians are represented by the Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation.

By 2050, Australia’s hydrogen industry is projected to generate $50 billion in additional gross domestic product.

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