Hydrogen plans for Gladstone alumina refinery
If the project proceeds, the pilot plant would produce hydrogen for the recently announced Gladstone Hydrogen Ecosystem.
Rio Tinto Australia chief executive Kellie Parker said the company was delighted to partner with Sumitome to explore the possibilities of hydrogen, not only for the refinery, but for Sumitomo to supply industry more broadly in Gladstone.
“Reducing the carbon intensity of our alumina production will be key to meeting our 2030 and 2050 climate targets,” she said.
“There is clearly more work to be done, but partnerships and projects like this are an important part of helping us get there.”
Sumitomo Corporation’s energy innovation initiative director Hajime Mori said the company had started the design study and preliminary master planning to build the Gladstone hydrogen ecosystem and would continue to work towards future hydrogen exports from Gladstone.
Gladstone Regional Council Mayor Matt Burnett welcomed the partnership between Rio Tinto and Sumitomo.
“This is great news for the Gladstone Region and Central Queensland and a significant step forward in developing our hydrogen ecosystem,” Cr Burnett said.
“This investment brings together new and existing industries and ultimately means more jobs in more industries for Central Queensland.”
Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing and Minister for Water Glenn Butcher said the partnership would provide important economic opportunities for the entire Central Queensland region.
“Gladstone’s world-class deep water port, water security through Awoonga Dam, and industry attraction via the local State Development Area have set Gladstone up to become the hydrogen capital of Australia, providing massive employment and supply chain opportunities both locally and in the Central Queensland region.”
The Sumitomo partnership complements a recently announced feasibility study into using hydrogen to replace natural gas in the alumina refining process at Yarwun and provides the potential for larger-scale implementation if the studies are successful.