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Port Bonython hydrogen hub hopes

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A large parcel of land near Whyalla earmarked for a potential hydrogen hub has been put out for national and international expressions of interest by the state government.

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The site at Port Bonython in the Upper Spencer Gulf features more than 2,000 hectares of available land and access to an existing deepwater port comprising a 2.4km long jetty, which has been approved for a $37 million state government-funded upgrade

The state government has described the site as one of South Australia’s most prospective hydrogen export hubs.

It says the significant renewable energy resources of the region may also support a range of other industrial, mining and related projects and development.

In this month’s budget, the federal government set aside $276 million for four regional hydrogen hubs across the country, with another $264 million allocated for carbon capture projects.

Whyalla Council has launched a campaign to host one of the four hubs to help grow the steel city’s economy.

State Treasurer Rob Lucas said expressions of interest will be rated on their ability to develop projects that have the potential to create economic growth and regional development on the Eyre Peninsula and 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 jobs growth not only for the Upper Spencer Gulf, but for the whole of South Australia,” he 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.”

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, which was released in October last year.

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 that includes aquaculture and a marine sanctuary to protect Giant Australian Cuttlefish and future projects will be required to comply with environmental legislation.

Expressions of Interest will be open for a period of six weeks and include requirements for developments to commence within five years.

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