New large-scale manufacturing facility proposed for Gladstone SDA

Monica Gameng   |   October 18, 2021
Gladstone State Development Area (cr: Queensland Government)

A large-scale hydrogen-equipment manufacturing facility – set to become the largest in the world – has been proposed to be built in Gladstone, Queensland as part of a new partnership between the State Government and Fortescue Future Industries (FFI). 

The Global Green Energy Manufacturing Centre (GEM) is going to be the first step in series of projects that will continue to transform regional Australia through green industry manufacturing as well as energy production centres. 

More than 300 jobs are set to be supported over the life of the project and thousands more created in the years to come. 

“We’re seeing growing interest globally in renewable hydrogen. 

“We don’t just want to export our resources – we want to develop a manufacturing industry capable of making the electrolysers in Queensland as well. 

“Andrew Forrest and I both see Queensland’s great potential as a renewables exporter and manufacturer of hydrogen equipment. 

“This partnership will create local jobs, support our economic recovery and create an advanced manufacturing industry in Gladstone that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the country,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said. 

This project will put Gladstone on the map as a world-leading hub for the manufacture of electrolysers, which is a vital component in the production of renewable hydrogen. 

Fortescue Future Industries is investing approximately $114 million for the project’s initial stage that will create about 120 construction jobs and 53 operational jobs. 

“We have a strategy to partner with the private sector to make Queensland a world leader in advanced manufacturing and hydrogen generation. 

“This is a great boost to Queensland’s growing credentials as an emerging superpower in renewable hydrogen,” the Premier said. 

According to Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development Steven Miles, this partnership between the Queensland Government and Fortescue Future Industries will help boost the state’s growing credentials as an “emerging superpower in renewable hydrogen”. 

Fortescue Future Industries will now work on progressing plans for the construction of the facility on land developed by the State Government at Aldoga, located within the Gladstone State Development Area. 

“We will create more jobs in Queensland by capturing industrial and manufacturing opportunities from the global decarbonisation momentum. 

“The Palaszczuk Government and FFI are both demonstrating global leadership to develop renewable hydrogen,” Minister Miles said. 

In accordance to the requirements of Fortescue Future Industries and its customers, GEM is going to be built in specialist production lines that include manufacturing wind turbines, long-range electric cabling, solar photovoltaic cells, electrolysers and associated infrastructure. 

“FFI’s goal is to become the world’s leading, integrated, fully renewable energy and green products company, powering the Australian economy and creating jobs for Australia as we transition away from fossil fuels. Our manufacturing arm, starting with electrolysers and expanding to all other required green industry products, will herald great potential for green manufacturing and employment in regional Australia. 

“Our first facility in Gladstone will become an epicentre for Queensland’s green hydrogen ambitions, building on its skilled workforce, its great foresight in industrial master-planning, a world class port, and a constructive and supportive State Government,” Fortescue Future Industries Chief Executive Officer Julie Shuttleworth AM said. 

The six-stage development is set to establish the country’s first multi-gigawatt-scale electrolyser factory that will have an initial annual capacity of 2GW. 

As part of this project, Fortescue Future Industries is also planning to establish the first Vocational Training and Employment Centre (VTEC) in Queensland that focus on “giving a hand up to Traditional Custodians”. This is in addition to Trade Up and Leadership Excellence programs. 

“As GEM develops according to FFI’s own requirements and other customer needs, manufacturing will come roaring back to regional Australia, creating many thousands of jobs. 

“This initiative is a critical step in Fortescue’s transition from a highly successful pure play iron ore producer, to an even more successful green renewables and resources powerhouse,” Fortescue Future Industries Chairman and Founder Dr Andrew Forrest AO said. 

Subject to final approvals, construction of the Global Green Energy Manufacturing Centre is set to commence in February 2022, with the first electrolysers due to be produced in early 2023. 

Source: Queensland Government – Media Statements; Fortescue Future Industries; Renew Economy 

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Monica Gameng
As Felix's Marketing Assistant since 2015, Monica is responsible for researching and sharing new and progressing projects within the construction and mining sectors in Australia. It's no surprise that Monica has her finger on the pulse of Australian major projects given she has produced more than 1,000 posts. She truly is an industry expert.
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