Turning the sod on Australia's landmark pilot hydrogen project

19 July 2019

Thanks for that welcome, it's a thrill to be able to join you all here for this next stage of the hydrogen energy supply chain, particularly to join my colleague and mate in federal cabinet, Matt Canavan. Thank you, Matt. I echo all of your words and in particular, your acknowledgement of the workforce. You are going to make this step, the hydrogen liquefaction facility a reality here in the Port of Hastings as one of the many steps throughout this project.

And can I acknowledge as well, Ambassador Takahasi, thank you very much, Takahasi-san for joining us here today in a demonstration of the joint commitment between the governments of Australia and Japan to ensure we deliver the energy projects of the future that will continue a partnership that, as Matt acknowledged, goes back decades.

And he acknowledged Treasurer Tim Pallas, the Treasurer of the state of Victoria, also a demonstration of partnership. The Commonwealth government working in partnership with the Victorian government and of course, with the many industry partners who make this a reality.

Last night, Dr Alan Finkel, Australia's chief scientist, and I had the pleasure of sitting down with each of the project partners for a briefing on the different components. And I encourage everybody to have a look at the little chart that's on the front of this lectern that demonstrates each of the steps in this project from the extraction of the coal right through to the end use of hydrogen in industry and households across Japan. It's a demonstration that this project, a pilot project, is about genuinely building a full supply chain for hydrogen as an energy source of the future. And what's so exciting about that is, as Matt reflected on, that it builds upon decades of effective collaboration and partnership of Australia and Japan as an integrated supply chain.

Australia has been the energy and resources partner of choice for Japan for decades, being a reliable, affordable and high quality supplier of resources, minerals and energy that has helped to fuel Japan's industry. In doing so, it's ensured high levels of export volumes from Australia and high levels of export volumes from Japan. It underpins the prosperity of both of our nations. Our resources, our energy underpins Australia's prosperity. Japan's utilization of that energy and their manufacturing and industry output underpins their prosperity. And the exciting thing about this project is that it is in a world where we see the transformation of energy sources happening, we are investing in ensuring we have an energy resource for the future being developed here in Australia. That is going to continue a decades long partnership, providing opportunities for Australia and Japan to continue to collaborate to ensure we have great, reliable, affordable energy and in this case, energy that is also going to ensure that it meets objectives of reducing emissions outputs whilst continuing to provide opportunities for the communities who have been the traditional base of much of our energy and resources.

So I want to thank each of the partners who have made this a reality. Congratulate them on the progress that has been made to date, not just here today as we turn the sod on one component, but the fact that each of those project partners, led, of course, by Kawasaki Heavy Industries, and I acknowledge Mariama-san and thank you for your leadership as part of the consortia, but all of those different project partners, I thank you for your work in ensuring that we're on track with each of the different stages and that we are going to succeed in terms of the extraction, the liquefaction, the transportation and ultimately the development of demand.

And from that, the potential is real that if this pilot project succeeds, what we are looking at today is the commencement of potentially a new multi-billion dollar export industry for Australia that will fuel the prosperity of Australia, Japan and many other nations for many years to come.

Thanks so very much.

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