Bell Bay's potential future as a green hydrogen hub is getting closer, with significant progress under way on two major projects destined to bring additional jobs to the region.
Fortescue Future Industries and Woodside Energy, two parties with interest in creating hydrogen opportunities at Bell Bay, have both taken significant steps forward in their planning - with more announcements expected in coming weeks.
FFI recently signed a memorandum of understanding with IHI Engineering Australia Pty Ltd and IHI Corporation for investigation into establishing green ammonia supply chains between Australia and Japan.
The MOU means both parties will jointly assess the feasibility of supplying green ammonia produced in Bell Bay and transported to Japan for blending into existing power generation.
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Work under the MOU is part of the company's feasibility and development program for the 250MW green hydrogen and ammonia Bell Bay project.
FFI chief executive Julie Shuttleworth said the company was investigating the development of a production facility in the area, while Bell Bay Advanced Manufacturing Zone chief executive Susie Bower said discussions with FFI had been positive.
"It's all heading in very much the right direction ... there are no signs that this isn't going to be a positive decision," Ms Bower said.
Similarly, Ms Shuttleworth said ongoing consultations were progressing well.
"As identified in Hydro Tasmania's 2019 Green Hydrogen Opportunity paper, Tasmania is well-positioned for the development of a green hydrogen industry due to the state's low cost, reliable renewable energy, and excellent port and water infrastructure," she said.
"We are working closely with our stakeholders to progress the feasibility study for this project to ensure it is a success for Bell Bay, Tasmania, and the country, if approved."
The message of positivity echoed by George Town mayor Greg Kieser, who said council looked forward to working with all of the proponents for a successful outcome.
Woodside has recently signed a Heads of Agreement to investigate the export and production of green ammonia from Tasmania.
The company is also currently undergoing an EPA assessment for a chemical works facility at Bell Bay.
A Woodside spokesperson said the company believed Bell Bay remains a promising opportunity for renewable hydrogen production.
It's anticipated more developments from both companies will be announced in coming weeks.
A state government spokesperson confirmed that TasPorts continues to be in productive discussions in regard to opportunities at Bell Bay.
The state government promised a $10 million upgrade for the port in the recent election, aimed at improving berthing and landside infrastructure to support exports.
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