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Key players have signed a memorandum of understanding that paves the way for a hydrogen export facility at the Port of Hay Point, south of Mackay.

North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation joined Dalrymple Bay Infrastructure, Brookfield, and international trading company ITOCHU Corporation in the MOU.

It will allow for work to start on concepts to build a renewable hydrogen production, storage, and export facility within the Hay Point port precinct.

Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert said the move to investigate hydrogen production and exports was positive news for jobs in the Mackay region.

“More than 20,000 mining, farming and transport jobs are supported by the trade that passes through Hay Point,” Mrs Gilbert said.

“Hay Point makes an incredibly important contribution to our state’s economy, so this agreement will ensure the port is well positioned to take advantage of new export opportunities that arise on the back of investment in Queensland’s energy sector.”

MOU on Hay Point hydrogen exports
NQBP chief executive officer Nicolas Fertin said NQBP was excited to work with existing stakeholders and new proponents and explore opportunities for hydrogen at Hay Point.

“As part of our planning, we want to ensure new trades such as hydrogen can co-exist at our ports alongside our existing trades,” Mr Fertin said.

“This is part of preparing for the decarbonisation of overseas industries and markets so that our ports can support the potential development of new trades that foster the economic development of our region.”

Mr Fertin said the MoU was a first step in what would be a thorough and considered process.

“We are at an early stage of possible developments, with future steps involving further feasibility studies, consulting with community, traditional owners and regulators.”

ITOCHU Corporation’s involvement in the Hay Point agreement comes just months after it signed an MOU backing Central Queensland’s $1 billion Gladstone Energy and Ammonia Project.

Australian Future Energy chief executive officer Kerry Parker hailed the agreement with ITOCHU Corporation as the ‘pivot point’ for the domestic hydrogen industry and a validation of the Gladstone project.

The company says the hydrogen project is close to commencing its Front End Engineering Design (FEED) study for the commercial production of low-carbon energy alternatives as soon as 2024.