PORT of Newcastle on Wednesday (10 May) announced it had joined the Platform Zero Global Partnership for Hydrogen Innovation.

Port of Newcastle CEO Craig Carmody and chief commercial officer Simon Byrnes – who are visiting the Netherlands for the World Hydrogen Summit – signed a memorandum of understanding to team up with Platform Zero.

Mr Carmody said the partnership would be a milestone for the port’s diversification strategy.

“It puts Port of Newcastle at the table alongside like-minded global leaders in the sector, enabling us to work together to develop and scale innovative hydrogen technologies and overcome key bottlenecks to enable the hydrogen and clean energy transition and trade pathways,” he said.

“As we work to bring our Clean Energy Precinct to reality, the benefits of this virtual global innovation hub will be exponential, allowing our port and region to learn from international ports, researchers and clean energy producers, whilst contributing to the development of the Innovation Road Map that will enable a global hydrogen economy.”

Mr Byrnes said partnerships like the one with Platform Zero would be key to the future enablement of a scalable clean energy trade pathway at Port of Newcastle.

“Within the Platform Zero partnership, universities will contribute through developing the relevant new technologies and solutions, where Ports, like Port of Newcastle, and innovation hubs, will develop infrastructure to support storage, transportation and scaling of innovative hydrogen technologies that enable the clean energy transition,” Mr Byrnes said.

“As the designated NSW hydrogen hub, we are at the forefront of creating a new economy – one which faces many technological challenges in order to make it scalable, economical, reliable and safe. So, collaborating with other innovators who are developing and scaling new technologies will be the key enabler for a hydrogen economy.”

Platform Zero founder Mare Straetmans said he was proud to bring together ports, universities and innovators from Australia, Brazil, Chile, Portugal, UK and the Netherlands to commit to accelerate innovation for green hydrogen.

“Australia is a critical partner in the development of a green hydrogen economy. By sharing knowledge and best practices on innovation ecosystems for hydrogen, these ten organisations from around the world will share, scale and support hydrogen innovation and each contribute to the global acceleration of this economy,” he said.

With further membership expected in the future, the 10 companies to date who have signed the partnership agreement alongside Port of Newcastle are Port of Rotterdam, HunterNet Newcastle, Newcastle Institute for Energy and Reseources (NIER), Erasmus University Rotterdam, Imperial College of London, Complexo do Pecem, Gemeente Rotterdam and Wicked Acceleration Labs.