Renewables investor launches multi-billion-dollar green hydrogen-based iron project in Australia



Renewable energy investor Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners has announced plans for a A$3.5bn ($2.3bn) green iron project in Queensland, Australia, which could be an offtaker for the up-to-2.5GW CQ-H2 renewable hydrogen plant being developed nearby.


CQ-H2, which is being developed by a consortium of state-owned power company Stanwell, Singapore’s Keppel Infrastructure, and Japanese firms Iwatani, Kansai Electric Power Company, and Marubeni, has previously suggested it will primarily seek to export its H2 as ammonia and as a liquid to offtakers in Asia.


However, Quinbrook is currently in discussions with Stanwell on forming a joint venture that would offtake some volumes of hydrogen from CQ-H2, as well as renewable electricity to power the green iron facility.


The investment firm has already secured exclusive rights over land next to the planned hydrogen project, and has partnered with Central Queensland Metals, which holds exploration permits for the Eulogie resource, estimated to contain 465 million tonnes of iron ore.


Quinbrook notes that there are “multiple export opportunities for both the ore concentrate and green iron”, particularly given existing rail links to the port of Gladstone.


Green iron has often been raised as a potential “value-add” product that could be exported from regions with high renewable power potential and existing iron ore deposits, rather than exporting hydrogen and iron ore separately.


However, a firm timeline on when the green iron facility could be up and running has not been disclosed, with Quinbook hinting at “several years” to complete the development phase.


Meanwhile, a final investment decision on CQ-H2 is due this year, with the first phase set to produce 200 tonnes of hydrogen a day for conversion to ammonia from 2028. A second phase in 2031 will produce an additional 400 tonnes a day of H2 for liquefaction.


Source: HydrogenInsight

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