Consortium greenlights green energy corridor between Queensland and Korea
Published Wednesday, 21 September, 2022 at 11:37 AM
Premier and Minister for the Olympics
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk
Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen and Minister for Public Works and Procurement
The Honourable Mick de Brenni
Three of Korea’s largest conglomerate groups have formed a powerful new Consortium in Queensland to unlock the State’s hydrogen potential and build a green energy export corridor, connecting North Queensland to north-east Asia.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk today observed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), to officially launch the Han-Ho Hydrogen Consortium which would develop a supply chain to export more than 1 million tonnes of green ammonia per annum from Australia to Korea by 2032.
The Consortium consists of Australian-based Ark Energy and its parent company Korea Zinc, as well as Korean conglomerates Hanwha Impact and SK Gas.
At the heart of the Consortium’s plans will be the development of Ark Energy’s Collinsville Green Energy Hub south-west of Bowen which will have the potential to generate up to 3,000MW.
“Today is another step forward in Queensland’s quest to be a hydrogen powerhouse,” the Premier said.
“We welcome this major new Consortium to Queensland – to accelerate progress in our green hydrogen industry and advance green energy exports to Korea.
“Korea is Queensland’s third-largest two-way trading partner and one our largest sources for foreign investment.
“The world’s largest zinc producer Korea Zinc is a longstanding important contributor to our regional economy, and through the Sun Metals Corporation, is the largest private sector employer in North Queensland.
“Now, its subsidiary Ark Energy is not only helping Korea Zinc to decarbonise and produce green zinc – it’s transforming North Queensland into a hydrogen powerhouse.
“Through this new Consortium, Ark Energy brings Korea Zinc together with Hanwha Impact, a major petrochemicals company in Korea and SK Gas, which holds the largest market share of the Korean domestic LPG market.
“This MOU signals their intention to develop future green hydrogen and ammonia opportunities in North Queensland which means more local jobs and more investment.”
Minister for Energy, Renewable and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni said since the launch of the Queensland Hydrogen Industry Strategy in 2019, the Palaszczuk Government had been working to further develop Queensland’s clean hydrogen export industry.
“Queensland is a proud resource State, powered by tens of thousands of highly skilled technicians, tradespeople, and project specialists,” Minister de Brenni said.
“The strength of Queensland’s existing infrastructure, combined with our future investment pipeline, is setting up towns like Townsville and regions like North Queensland to cement Queensland’s position as a global green hydrogen leader.”
In January 2021, Korea Zinc launched its subsidiary Ark Energy in Queensland, to accelerate its energy transition, beginning with Sun Metals zinc refinery in Townsville.
Based at the refinery, Ark Energy’s SunHQ Hydrogen Hub (SunHQ) will produce green hydrogen from a behind-the-meter connection to the co-located 124MWac Sun Metals solar farm.
Phase 1 of SunHQ is supported by a $5 million Queensland Government funding commitment, through Round 1 of the Hydrogen Industry Development Fund (HDIF).
Ark Energy Chief Executive Officer Daniel Kim said the company will lead the Consortium by leveraging its experience building the domestic hydrogen economy of North Queensland through SunHQ as well as its renewable energy portfolio including the Collinsville Green Energy Hub south-west of Bowen, which will have a potential generation capacity of up to 3,000MW.
“Strategic partnerships will be essential to building a new green ammonia supply chain from Queensland to Korea and we are delighted that Korea Zinc, Hanwha Impact and SK Gas have decided to join our Consortium,” Mr Kim said.
Korea Zinc Vice Chairman Yun B. Choi said the Consortium brings together three of the major players in Korea’s hydrogen economy which have a forecast demand for more than 2 million tonnes of green ammonia per annum from 2030.
“We look forward to working with our partners to unlock Australia’s potential to become a large-scale producer and exporter of green hydrogen and its derivatives including green ammonia,” said Mr Choi.
Hanwha Impact CEO Hee-Cheul Kim said the company is operating under a mandate to drive change to a sustainable future and transition to an eco-friendly energy and carbon-neutral business.
“We are excited to be part of this Consortium and look forward to collaborating with our partners to build new green growth engines for both the Australian and Korean economies,” said Mr Kim.
SK Gas CEO, Brian (Byung Suk) Yoon said the strategic importance of the MoU and the infinite potential of the Consortium can’t be overstated.
“This MoU aligns with our ambition to become a global top tier Net Zero Solution Provider and we’re excited to be collaborating with our partners to play a tangible role in helping countries like Korea in its energy transition by providing clean hydrogen,” said Mr Yoon.
For more information on hydrogen industry development – including the Queensland Hydrogen Industry Strategy 2019-2024 – please visit qld.gov.au/hydrogen
Zoe Russell (Premier’s office) – 0439 982 347