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Clean energy partnerships drive Newcastle port into future

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At least 30 partnerships will fortify Port of Newcastle’s (PoN) advancement towards the formation of a world-class clean energy economy in the Hunter.

The alliance, including domestic and multi-national organisations, complements the backing of the commonwealth government.

In the 2022 Federal Budget, the city’s global gateway secured $100 million for the Clean Energy Precinct.

Now, the PoN has signed 15 Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) agreements – with coNEXA, EnergyCo, Energy Estate, Eurus Energy, Fortescue Future Industries, Hunter Hydrogen Network, KEPCO (Korea), Lake Macquarie City Council, Lumea (Transgrid), Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (Japan), MOL Group (Japan), Orica, Origin, Platform Zero (Rotterdam) and University of Newcastle – to support its development, storage and export pathway.

Others to formally come on board, too, are AGL, Ampcontrol, Aurizon, bp Australia, Business Hunter, City of Newcastle, Hunter iF, Hyundai Australia, Infrabuild, Jemena, Keolis Downer, Linde Engineering, NewH2, Snowy Hydro and Westrac. 

“Collectively, these relationships represent key industry support across clean energy production, mobility, export and bunkering, energy generation, transport, infrastructure, offtake, agriculture, education, innovation, research and development,” Port of Newcastle CEO Craig Carmody said.

“This kind of collaboration allows for connections to be forged from the outset between the state’s renewable energy projects, clean energy production projects and the Port’s biggest assets, its deepwater channel and existing global partnerships.”

Mr Carmody said the once-in-a-generation venture was one of two key developments in the Port’s 2030 diversification strategy.  

“Our dedicated 220-hectare Clean Energy Precinct offers the perfect platform for large-scale clean energy production,” he explained.

“It will be supported by common user, open access, shared infrastructure across storage, transport and export facilities servicing production from the precinct itself and from right across the Hunter.

“We are standing at the forefront of the development of a new industry.

“Partnerships, both local and international, which bring together infrastructure, investment, knowledge, skills and resources, will be critical in the establishment and scale-up of a domestic clean energy economy and export trade pathway at Port of Newcastle.

“Creating a place for local, Australian and international commercial expertise and research knowledge to work collaboratively, ensures Newcastle and the Hunter remains Australia’s energy powerhouse.”

PoN’s chief commercial officer, and project lead, Simon Byrnes agreed.

“By collaborating with all levels of government, with industry partners and education providers, we are working to deliver a shared ambition to accelerate innovation, foster technological advancement, generating jobs and educational pathways for this new industry at scale,” he said.

“Our vision is a thriving Hunter community, which is viewed as the best place to work in the clean energy industry, both in Australia and across the world.

“Port of Newcastle is working to create connections between infrastructure, markets and people.

“We’ve secured letters of intent from each of the entities that have the potential to be significant clean energy off-takers in the Hunter, along with existing export customers in key markets across Asia, such as Japan and Korea, to understand their needs and potential opportunities.

“Our existing supply chain is one of the most efficient in the world and we are seeking to leverage that expertise to generate economies of scale and scope.”

PoN released Stage 1 renders of its Clean Energy Precinct vision in May.

“We have a long history in energy export and is diversifying further to drive the clean energy trade flows of the future,” Mr Carmody said.

“We’re harnessing the region’s capability and critical energy assets to deliver Australia’s decarbonisation objectives while creating new, and additional trade opportunities, jobs and economic growth for clean energy export at scale in Australia and locally.

“There is a long way to go to make this project a reality, but we are committed to diversifying to support jobs growth and economic security for generations of locals and Port workers to come.

“We look forward to working closely with industry and the community to bring a clean energy economy to life in sustainable and safe way that secures the prosperity of Newcastle and the region for decades to come.”

Further information on the Clean Energy Precinct project can be found at https://www.portofnewcastle.com.au/landside/major-projects/clean-energy-precinct/ including a factsheet with details of the MOU and supporting partnerships.

More announcements regarding specifics will be made in due course as each MOU partnership evolves.

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