During a visit by Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Chris Bowen, Port of Newcastle unveiled 30 new supporting partnerships.
The partnerships, which include domestic and multi-national organisations, complement the backing of the Commonwealth Government, with the Port securing a $100-million funding grant in the 2022 Federal Budget for the Clean Energy Precinct.
Port of Newcastle CEO, Craig Carmody said the once-in-a-generation project is 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,” Craig said.
“It will be supported by common user, open access, shared infrastructure across clean energy storage, transport and export facilities servicing production from the Precinct itself and from right across the Hunter Region.
“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.”
Port of Newcastle’s Board Chair, Professor Roy Green said the Port was advancing the Hunter region, the state and Australia’s global ambitions to be a leader in clean energy.
“For several years, Port of Newcastle has pursued a strategic direction outlined in our diversification strategy to deliver a clean energy industry,” Roy said
“With the recent announcement providing a clear path forward as to how these plans become a reality through the strength of our domestic and international partnerships.”
“The Clean Energy Precinct not only supports Commonwealth and state government clean energy targets, but it also forms part of a domestic and global collective, all pursuing a common goal of producing and transporting sustainable energy.”
As the Commonwealth Government’s priority hydrogen hub in NSW, to date, Craig explained that Port of Newcastle has signed 15 Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) agreements to support the development, storage, and export pathway enablement of a clean energy economy at Port of Newcastle.
“These formal MOU agreements are also strengthened by the backing of 15 other critical organisations for the Clean Energy Precinct project via a Letter of Support or a Letter of Intent for future collaboration,” Craig said.
“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.
“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.”
Project Lead and the Port’s Chief Commercial Officer, Simon Byrnes said the Clean Energy Precinct MOUs spanned collaboration on the development of inland and offshore wind projects, electricity transmission and water supply, clean energy production, clean energy storage, distribution and export facilities, export and bunkering, skills and training pathways, advanced manufacturing and innovation hubs.
“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, generate jobs and educational pathways for this new industry at scale,” Simon said.
“Our vision is a thriving Hunter community that 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. The Port has secured letters of intent from each of the entities that have the potential to be significant clean energy offtakers in the Hunter Region, 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.”
The Port released Stage 1 renders of its Clean Energy Precinct vision in May.
Port of Newcastle is a major Australian trade gateway handling 4,600 ship movements and 166 million tonnes of cargo each year. Its annual trade worth more than $29 billion to the New South Wales economy, enabling businesses across the state to successfully compete in international markets.
With a deepwater shipping channel operating at 50% of its capacity, significant port land available and enviable access to national rail and road infrastructure, Port of Newcastle is positioned to further underpin the prosperity of the Hunter, NSW and Australia.
As custodians of the region’s critical asset, Port of Newcastle is diversifying its trade as it strives to create a safe, sustainable and environmentally and socially responsible Port that realises its potential.