Emerging hydrogen industry’s plan for fertiliser production

By Jackson Graham

Tuesday October 12, 2021

Annastacia Palaszczuk says momentum is building in Queensland to develop a leading renewable hydrogen industry.
Annastacia Palaszczuk says momentum is building in Queensland to develop a leading renewable hydrogen industry. (AAP Image/Darren England)

The Queensland government is planning for a Brisbane site to use hydrogen to make “green” ammonia on an industrial scale.

A feasibility study will assess whether a site at Gibson Island is suitable and commercially viable for manufacturer Incitec Pivot to strike an agreement with Fortescue Future Industries to produce clean ammonia for use in fertiliser and explosives. 

The site would manufacture ammonia — a producer of carbon emissions — with 50,000 tonnes of hydrogen each year used to make a “green” product. 

It follows the Queensland government unveiling plans on the weekend for Gladstone to have one of the world’s biggest hydrogen-equipment manufacturing facilities. 

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said momentum was building in Queensland to develop a leading renewable hydrogen industry. 

“By backing Queensland to become a renewable energy and hydrogen superpower we will make Queensland a manufacturing superpower as well which will create and sustain jobs long into the future,” Palaszczuk said. 

Mick de Brenni, the energy, renewables and hydrogen minister, said if the study stacked up a large-scale green ammonia export facility would be built at lower cost and in a shorter timeframe than at many other locations worldwide. 

Incitec Pivot has billions of dollars invested in Queensland fertiliser and explosives plants and employs 1200 people across five sites. 

Gibson Island plant currently produces more than 300,000 tonnes of ammonia each year and is Queensland’s biggest consumer of gas for local manufacturing.

“If feasible, this project would sustain highly skilled manufacturing jobs at Gibson Island and allow us to leverage our existing capabilities and assets to create a thriving renewable hydrogen ecosystem in Queensland,” Incitec CEO Jeanne Johns said.

South Australia last year announced a $250 million proposal for Hydrogen company H2U to build the world’s biggest green ammonia plant near Whyalla. 

Australia’s agriculture industry contributes about 13% of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions each year, with most of the emissions due to methane but smaller amounts due to fertiliser.


Proposed WA project to produce 22 million tonnes of green ammonia annually

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