The Queensland government has granted coordinated project status to a $4.7bn proposal to build a green hydrogen and ammonia plant in Gladstone, where climate transition plans are being pitched as saviour projects.

The central Queensland city has endured a significant economic downturn since the end of an LNG construction boom about five years ago.

But the deputy premier, Steven Miles, says Gladstone is on the way to becoming a “clean energy powerhouse” on the back of investment in new economy and climate transition projects.

Mining billionaire Andrew Forrest is already building the world’s largest electrolyser factory in Gladstone.

On Tuesday the Queensland government announced a streamlined approval process, overseen by the coordinator general, for the H2-Hub Gladstone project, which will produce green hydrogen and green ammonia.

The green ammonia would be sold to mining explosives manufacturer Orica, which is working with the project proponent, H2U, on plans for an ammonia export terminal in Gladstone.

Miles said the project could create more than 550 jobs during a phased construction and about 140 ongoing operational jobs.

The project includes plans to build up to 3 gigawatts of electrolysis and produce up to 5,000 tonnes of green ammonia a day. It would be powered by 100% renewable energy, from new-build solar and wind in Queensland.

State minister for regional development and Gladstone MP, Glenn Butcher, said central Queensland was becoming a significant site for renewables projects.

“These partnerships are highlighting the benefits of investing into Queensland’s regions and creating jobs for the future,” Butcher said.

Green hydrogen is made by running an electric current through water using an electrolyser powered by renewable energy such as wind or solar.

Energy analysts have previously suggested green hydrogen was likely to leapfrog hydrogen made with gas and coal as the most cost-effective form of the energy before the end of the decade, and by the time an industry could be developed at scale.

Extracted in full from: Queensland advances green hydrogen and ammonia project to be powered by renewables | Queensland | The Guardian