Iron ore billionaire Andrew Forrest has unveiled plans to build a massive green energy manufacturing centre in central Queensland, focusing initially on hydrogen electrolysers before also moving on to wind turbine equipment, solar PV cells, and electrical cabling.
The announcement – made by Fortescue Future Industries and the Queensland state government ton Sunday – thrusts Australia into the new era of green industry manufacturing and energy production centres, and it’s no accident that it will be located around Gladstone, the hub of that state’s coal and LNG industries.
Forrest’s plans are – as usual – extremely ambitious. The six-stage project will start with a plan to establish Australia’s first multi-gigawatt-scale electrolyser factory, with an initial capacity of 2 gigawatts (GW) per annum – more than doubling current global production.
This will provide hundreds of jobs in both construction and over the project lifetime, but thousands more could be created as the centre expands into the manufacture of wind turbines, solar PV cells and other infrastructure, helping to transform regional Australia through green industries.