The region’s peak business advocacy organisation, Business Illawarra, has today welcomed Federal Budget commitments to support new gas and hydrogen projects at Port Kembla as further confirmation of the Illawarra’s bright future as an energy hub.
Last night’s Budget provides funding of $30 million over two years to support Australian Industrial Power - a division of Dr Andrew Forrest’s Squadron Energy - to undertake early works on its proposed 660 megawatt dual fuel (gas and green hydrogen) power station at Port Kembla.
The Budget also includes $25 million over three years to support the development of hydrogen ready gas generation infrastructure; $5 million of which will go towards ensuring EnergyAustralia’s 316 megawatt Tallawarra B gas power plant, planned near Lake Illawarra, will be able to use green hydrogen as a fuel into the future.
“These welcome funding commitments provide clear confirmation of the Federal Government’s support of Port Kembla as a hub of future energy and industry,” said Business Illawarra Executive Director, Adam Zarth.
“They follow a string of good news for energy projects in the Illawarra, including most recently the $83 million funding agreement for Energy Australia’s Tallawarra B project announced by the NSW Government.”
“Combined, these projects will be vital to securing dispatchable electricity capacity when the Liddell Power Station is decommissioned in 2023 and should also help reduce energy costs for Australian industry, businesses and consumers.”
“Importantly, they will also be set up to support the transition to hydrogen and a cleaner energy future.”
“The Illawarra has incredible potential as a source of new energy production, with its highly skilled technical workforce, established industrial supply chain and associated distribution infrastructure.”
"Port Kembla’s potential is also broadly recognised by the private sector, with a number of major gas and green hydrogen related projects in the pipeline, and we welcome the Federal Government’s support to get these up and running as soon as possible.”
“Investment in new sources of energy such as hydrogen is vital as we transition to a clean energy future. We look forward to engaging with all levels of Government to ensure we can maximise the benefits for the Illawarra economy and community that will flow from considered investment in new energy technologies.”