The SA Government is seeking national and international Expressions of Interest (EOI) to develop land at Port Bonython in the Upper Spencer Gulf – SA’s prospective hydrogen export hub. 

The state-owned site has notable access to multiple renewable energy zones, over 2,000 hectares of available land, access to an existing deepwater port comprising a 2.4km long jetty and has been approved for a $37 million State Government-funded upgrade.

The significant renewable energy resources of the region may also support a range of other industrial, mining and related developments.

SA Treasurer, Rob Lucas, said EOIs will be rated on their ability to develop projects that have the potential to create economic growth and regional development on the Eyre Peninsula, as well as South Australia more broadly. 

Interested parties will also have to contribute to Port Bonython as a multi-user, export-focused precinct to leverage the state’s advantages in renewable energy, fuels and minerals.

“This is a significant piece of land that, when properly developed, has the potential to create significant economic and job growth not only for the Upper Spencer Gulf, but for the whole of South Australia,” Mr Lucas said.

Port Bonython was identified as an export hub for both green and blue hydrogen during the development of South Australia’s Hydrogen Export Modelling Tool. The tool was released in October 2020 and is being used by companies around the world to model the cost of producing and exporting hydrogen from SA.  

The nearby town of Whyalla boasts a highly skilled workforce, the Whyalla steelworks, a container port, strong national electricity grid connection as well as modern rail and road infrastructure.

The National Hydrogen Strategy indicates a nation wide hydrogen industry could generate about $11 billion a year in GDP by 2050, especially as Australia has established networks of international trade relationships for clean energy.

Mr Lucas said the state was a leader in hydrogen industry development.

“South Australia’s Hydrogen Action Plan, regulatory frameworks, support for demonstration projects, international relationships and informational resources for investors clearly demonstrate our commitment to establishing international hydrogen supply chains,” Mr Lucas said.

“Having a hydrogen hub exporting to Australian and international markets will leverage the $20 billion pipeline of large-scale renewable energy projects under development in South Australia.

“Our state is a great place in which to do business and we are committed to becoming a national and international exporter of clean power while obtaining our goals of 100 per cent renewables and 50 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

“Our expectation is that during the 2030s we will generate more clean power than is required for local use, setting us up to become a national and global force in clean energy export.”

Mr Lucas said the Government will be looking for projects which complement and strategically align with existing and future land uses in the Port Bonython precinct.

The site is home to Santos’ processing plant, which receives natural gas liquids and crude oil piped 659km from the Moomba plant for export, and a diesel fuel import and storage terminal.

Port Bonython has a rich and unique environment which includes aquaculture and a marine sanctuary to protect Giant Australian Cuttlefish, meaning future projects will be required to comply with environmental legislation.

The marketing of the site is being led by global commercial real estate firm JLL. Expressions of Interest will be open for a period of six weeks in 2021 and include requirements for developments to commence within five years.

For more information on South Australia’s Hydrogen Action Plan and Hydrogen Export Modelling Tool, click here

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