A $140-million deal to build the Pilbara Hydrogen Hub is expected to make the region a major centre for hydrogen production and export.

The federal and state governments finalised the agreement with a commitment of $70 million each.

The Western Australian government said the hub has the potential to become an international gateway to Australian-made green steel and iron.

Construction on the road and intersection will start this year, with the hub becoming operational in mid-2028.

It would support almost 1000 jobs and a planned pipeline could enable hydrogen production of around 492,000 tonnes per year.

It would be enough to decarbonise existing ammonia production on the Burrup Peninsula. 

The hub will help build infrastructure to support hydrogen exports and renewable energy production, as well as fund activities for a Clean Energy Training and Research Institute.

The institute will provide job-focused training in renewable energy and hydrogen for Pilbara residents, including First Nations peoples. 

Western Australian Premier Roger Cook said the hub was part of his government’s plan to turn WA into a global clean energy powerhouse. 

“This project will be WA-produced hydrogen on Asia’s doorstep, helping to strengthen and diversify our economy for the future,” Mr Cook said. 

Federal minister for climate change and energy Chris Bowen said the hub would ensure the Pilbara’s future as a major energy producer and exporter.

“WA is already a global mining and export powerhouse, and it’s now primed to become a world-leading hydrogen supplier as well,” Minister Bowen said. 

By 2050, Australia’s hydrogen industry is projected to generate $50 billion in additional GDP and create more than 16,000 jobs in regional Australia. 

The industry is also expected to create an additional 13,000 jobs from the construction of renewable energy infrastructure.