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MOL, MHI lead partnership in propelling Port of Newcastle into clean energy future

July 14 ------ Australia’s Port of Newcastle has formalized 30 partnerships with domestic and multi-national organizations aimed at advancing the port’s plans of regenerating a 220-hectare parcel of industrial wasteland into a dedicated Clean Energy Precinct.

The once-in-a-generation project is one of two key developments in the port’s 2030 diversification strategy. The idea is to create the ‘port of the future’ that will position Newcastle and the Hunter Region as a leading production, storage and export hub for future clean energy products and technologies including hydrogen and green ammonia. Through the project, Port of Newcastle plans to support all hydrogen, and clean energy projects in the Hunter by providing land, utilities, storage, transport and export infrastructure and services – in turn generating over 5800 jobs, new educational pathways and expanded economic growth.

The project has secured A$100 million in funding from the Australian federal government to build a Clean Energy Precinct site in the port area. Japanese industry majors Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) have joined the endeavor by signing the formal Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) at a special reception hosted by the port on July 12.

In February of this year, MOL and the Port of Newcastle teamed up on a joint study of the construction of this area and the establishment of a supply chain. The joint study mainly concerns the ocean transport and bunkering of clean energy in the region. “Our dedicated 220-hectare Clean Energy Precinct will offer the perfect platform for large scale clean energy production, which 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,” Port of Newcastle CEO Craig Carmody said.

The port and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries plan to collaborate on optimization of the configuration of the precinct, explore opportunities for MHI to supply technology to the Clean Energy Precinct and across the Hunter Region, the export of clean energy products to Japan, and the potential further collaboration with other clean energy projects in the port area across a range of energy vectors.

“We are delighted to be involved in a major development project for the Port of Newcastle, a promising hydrogen hub in Australia. We possess various technologies that are considered necessary for the realization of a hydrogen hub in the Port of Newcastle, such as hydrogen and ammonia power generation and CO2 capture technologies, ammonia and methanol production plants, ammonia and CO2 carriers, etc., and based on these technologies, we will study the optimization of the equipment configuration for the energy facility in the port,” Hitoshi Kaguchi, Senior Executive Vice President at MHI said. “The port has long been an important base for Japan as a resource shipping port, and through this project, we will work together with the port to contribute to the decarbonization of Australia and Japan.”

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. Drawing on the world leading expertise of companies in the key markets of Japan and Korea is extremely important to driving that vision forward, he said. “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,” Byrnes added. “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.”

Memoranda of Understanding agreements have been formalized with coNEXA, EnergyCo, Energy Estate, Eurus Energy, Fortescue Future Industries, Hunter Hydrogen Network, KEPCO (Korea), Lake Macquarie City Council, Lumea (Transgrid), Orica, Origin, Platform Zero (Rotterdam) and the University of Newcastle. Among those to also pledge their support formally for the Port’s Clean Energy Precinct plans are AGL, Ampcontrol, Aurizon, bp Australia, Business Hunter, Hunter iF, Hyundai Australia, Infrabuild , Jemena, Keolis Downer, Linde Engineering, NewH2, Newcastle City Council, Snowy Hydro and Westrac.



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