Queensland government bill permits green hydrogen pipelines

Queensland’s state parliament in Australia has passed legislation that will permit renewable hydrogen and other gases to be piped across the state, potentially unlocking A$33 billion (US$21 billion) in economic activity by 2040.

Queensland views green hydrogen as the next frontier in the state’s energy industry (Image credit: naphakm/Moment via Getty Images)

The gas supply and other legislation (hydrogen industry development) amendment bill 2023 is expected to pave the way for companies to use hydrogen to decarbonise their heavy haulage, shipping, aviation and industrial activities.

Queensland energy, renewables and hydrogen minister Mick de Brenni said green hydrogen was “the next frontier in Queensland’s energy industry”, offering the greatest jobs, climate and export opportunity in a generation.

He said green hydrogen would be “a gamechanger” for the transport, heavy haulage, shipping and aviation industries – currently accounting for more than 20% of Australia’s emissions – while unlocking a pipeline of new jobs.

More than 50 hydrogen projects are underway across the state. Major projects include the proposed Stanwell Corporation-led CQ-H2 central Queensland hydrogen project in Gladstone, which would produce both hydrogen and ammonia.

If progressed, the project would deliver hydrogen via different carriers to Japan and Singapore. Commercial operations are planned to commence in 2028. 

At Fortescue’s green energy manufacturing centre, also in Gladstone, the company plans to manufacture both alkaline and proton exchange membrane electrolysers. 

The Queensland government also announced construction of a A$1 billion pipeline to transport water from Fitzroy to Gladstone to provide water security for existing industries and unlock jobs in renewable hydrogen and manufacturing.

Last year Queensland announced a collaboration with Victoria and New South Wales to establish a hydrogen refuelling network for heavy transport along the eastern seaboard.

Earlier this month, South Australia proposed a legislative framework to streamline and coordinate hydrogen and renewable energy projects in the state, minimising red tape for prospective investors.

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