THIRTY organisations have agreed to support the Port of Newcastle’s development of a clean energy precinct, the port has announced.

Some of the partnership agreements were signed on Wednesday 12 July as climate change and energy minister Chris Bowen declared an offshore wind zone for the Hunter coast during a visit to Newcastle.

To date, Port of Newcastle has signed 15 memoranda of understanding agreements to support the development, storage and export pathway enablement of a clean energy economy at the port.

The port has formalised MoU with coNEXA, EnergyCo, Energy Estate, Eurus Energy, Fortescue Future Industries, Hunter Hydrogen Network, KEPCO, Lake Macquarie City Council, Lumea, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, MOL Group, Orica, Origin, Platform Zero and University of Newcastle.

The formal MoU agreements are backed by 15 other organisations for the Clean Energy Precinct project via letter of support or a letter of intent for future collaboration.

Those organisations include AGL, Ampcontrol, Aurizon, bp Australia, Business Hunter, Hunter iF, Hyundai Australia, Infrabuild, Jemena, Keolis Downer, Linde Engineering, NewH2, Newcastle City Council, Snowy Hydro and Westrac.

Scope of partnerships

Port of Newcastle CEO Craig Carmody said the relationships represent industry support across clean energy production, mobility, export and bunkering, energy generation, transport, infrastructure, offtake, agriculture, education, innovation, research and development.

“This kind of collaboration allows for connections to be forged from the outset between the State’s renewable energy projects, clean energy production projects and the port’s biggest assets, its deepwater channel and existing global partnerships,” he said.

Mr Carmody said the dedicated 220-hectare Clean Energy Precinct offered “the perfect platform” for large scale clean energy production.

“It will be supported by common user, open access, shared infrastructure across clean energy storage, transport and export facilities servicing production from the Precinct itself and from right across the Hunter Region” Mr Carmody said.

“We are standing at the forefront of the development of a new industry. Partnerships, both local and international, which bring together infrastructure, investment, knowledge, skills and resources, will be critical in the establishment and scale-up of a domestic clean energy economy and export trade pathway at Port of Newcastle.

“Creating a place for local, Australian and international commercial expertise and research knowledge to work collaboratively, ensures Newcastle and the Hunter remains Australia’s energy powerhouse.”

Support for the Hunter and offshore wind

Port of Newcastle chief commercial officer Simon Byrnes, who is leading the Clean Energy Precinct project, said the MoUs would support the development of inland and offshore wind projects.

He said they also span collaboration on electricity transmission and water supply, clean energy production, clean energy storage, distribution and export facilities, export and bunkering, skills and training pathways, advanced manufacturing and innovation hubs.

“By collaborating with all levels of government, with industry partners and education providers, we are working to deliver a shared ambition to accelerate innovation, foster technological advancement, generating jobs and educational pathways for this new industry at scale,” Mr Byrnes said.

“Our vision is a thriving Hunter community which is viewed as the best place to work in the clean energy industry, both in Australia and across the world.

“The port has secured letters of intent from each of the entities that have the potential to be significant clean energy offtakers in the Hunter Region, and we are also working with existing export customers in key markets across Asia, such as Japan and Korea, to understand their needs and potential opportunities.

“Our existing supply chain is one of the most efficient in the world and we are seeking to leverage that expertise to generate economies of scale and scope,” he said.