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Local jobs and a new energy industry for the LaTrobe valley

12 April 2018

Joint media release with the Prime Minister, the Hon Malcolm Turnbull, the Minister for Jobs and Innovation, the Hon, Michaelia Cash, and the Minister for the Environment and Energy, the Hon Josh Frydenberg MP.

The Turnbull Government will create 400 local jobs and establish a new energy industry to provide more opportunities for businesses and families in the LaTrobe Valley.

These are real jobs being created right now.

The $50 million investment into a world-first Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC) pilot project will open up a new global market, grow the local economy and create more jobs.

The pilot project will turn brown coal into hydrogen as we continue to diversify our energy sources.

The Turnbull Government is creating the economic conditions to create more jobs in our regions - not just in our cities.

The pilot will create over 400 direct and indirect jobs. It is an initial step towards a commercial-scale hydrogen supply chain to diversify energy sources.

Hydrogen energy is currently used in cars, electricity generation and industry.

The four-year joint federal, state and industry project will demonstrate the feasibility of turning brown coal from the abundant reserves in the Latrobe Valley into hydrogen to be exported to Japan.

A commercial HESC project has the potential to grow to add more than $8 billion to Australia’s economy.

We are not only creating a new industry and jobs in the Latrobe Valley and Port of Hastings, but building local skills in a future global hydrogen industry, estimated by the Hydrogen Council to be worth $2.5 trillion in 2050.

As our economy transitions, we must create new industries to provide jobs for today and tomorrow.

Our CSIRO hydrogen and energy experts will be working with their Japanese counterparts, maximising the exchange of scientific knowledge created from the pilot, including in carbon capture and storage.

Australia is well-placed to become a global hydrogen production and export leader, with abundant resources, excellent infrastructure and technical prowess in commodity development.

The project builds on the long-standing trade relationship between Japan and Australia on energy and resource commodities.

Investing in this feasibility pilot is a down payment on our future economic prosperity and security. We now embark on four critical, ground-breaking years.

The world-first Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain pilot project is significant for the cutting-edge science and technology it uses, for the potential it represents for Australian industry in hydrogen production and export, and for the jobs it will create.

The Australian and Victorian governments are providing a combined $100 million in funding to the $496 million pilot project, co-funded by a Japanese consortium — led by Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) — and the Japanese Government.

The project is being delivered by a consortium of large Japanese and Australian companies, including Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd, J-Power (Electric Power Development Co. Ltd), Iwatani Corporation, Marubeni and AGL.

Media contacts:  
Prime Minister’s press office 02 6277 7744
Minister Cash's office 02 6277 7320
Minister Frydenberg's office 02 6277 7920