Fuelling the Future: Rio Tinto and Sumitomo Unveil Hydrogen Pilot Plant

Fuelling the Future: Rio Tinto and Sumitomo Unveil Hydrogen Pilot Plant

From Carbon to Clean: Gladstone’s Path to Renewable Energy Leadership

Supported by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), the Yarwun Hydrogen Calcination Pilot Demonstration Program is set to embark on a transformative renewable energy project in the Gladstone Region. Rio Tinto and Sumitomo Corporation have announced their collaboration to construct an innovative hydrogen plant at Rio Tinto’s Yarwun refinery, with the aim of significantly reducing carbon emissions associated with the alumina refining process.

Gladstone possesses a unique combination of attributes that position it as a global contender in the production of green hydrogen and related products. With its expansive deepwater port, ample room for expansion, robust electricity and gas transmission infrastructure, and a highly skilled workforce, Gladstone is set to emerge as a renewable energy superpower.

Gladstone Region Mayor Matt Burnett, who recently participated in a Trade Mission to Japan as part of the Queensland Premier’s Delegation, warmly welcomed the announcement from Rio Tinto and Sumitomo. He expressed his enthusiasm for this significant milestone in decarbonizing the alumina production process and forging innovative partnerships that secure the future of Gladstone’s existing industries.

“This is another exciting step towards decarbonising the alumina production process and securing the future of Gladstone’s existing industries with new innovative partnerships,” said Cr Burnett.

“The Gladstone Region is set to become a renewable energy superpower, so to have Rio Tinto and Sumitomo invest in our region’s future, with the backing of the Australian Government through ARENA, is exactly what our 10-year Economic Transition Roadmap sets out to achieve,”

“This development also demonstrates how major industry, in particular Rio Tinto, is looking at ways to maintain Gladstone’s proud industrial heritage into a new decarbonised future.” said Mr Burnett.

Gladstone Region Deputy Mayor Kahn Goodluck, shared his support towards the initiative and believes that if successful, the Yarwun Hydrogen Calcination Pilot Demonstration Program could pave the way for adoption at a global scale.

“As advocates for the region, we are looking forward to seeing this project progress ahead of a projected opening in 2025,”

“This announcement further emphasises that with the right support and investment, Gladstone can become a leader in renewables and clean industry, making our region an even greater place to live, learn, work and play.” said Cr Goodluck.

Upon reaching its peak, the proposed project is expected to generate over 8,900 new jobs, facilitate $17.2 billion in hydrogen exports, and contribute $12.4 billion to Queensland’s Gross State Product over its 30-year lifespan. As Queensland’s largest renewable hydrogen project, CQ-H2 positions Central Queensland as a strategic hub for this significant global development, ranking among the top 10 hydrogen projects worldwide.

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