Water and green energy developments pivotal to QLD’s transition

Queensland (QLD)

Over the past year, there have been significant developments in Queensland (QLD), with projects set to improve water security and facilitating emerging green energy networks as the nation draws ever closer to achieving net zero.

As of mid 2022, SEQwater commenced laying pipeline in a staged approach along the alignment on the largest addition to the SEQ water grid in a decade; the construction of a 27 km pipeline to the Scenic Rim region.

Likewise, as a response to the ongoing costs of shipping water to Mount Morgan, the Rockhampton Regional Council has agreed to provide $40.4 million for a new water pipeline.

While Australia moves towards achieving net zero in the coming decades, Queensland is working hard to do its part. The state has responded to the increasing global interest in renewable energies by developing its Hydrogen Industry Workforce Development Roadmap 2022-2023. Furthermore, Fortescue Future Industries’ (FFI) first global green energy manufacturing centre has obtained planning approval from the Queensland Government.

Construction on $95M Seqwater pipeline begun this year

The $95 million South West pipeline will connect two recently built reservoirs at the existing Beaudesert Water Treatment Plant to the SEQ water grid. The South West Pipeline is the second stage of the Beaudesert Water Supply Upgrade (BWSU), a long-term water supply solution for the region.

The BWSU incorporates three major elements that are key to the improvement of water supply to the region. The first of these is immediate improvements to the Beaudesert Water Treatment Plant including the construction of two new reservoirs, followed by the laying 27km of bulk water pipeline connecting Beaudesert to the SEQ Water Grid. The final step is the construction of a new water treatment plant which will draw water from the Wyaralong Dam.

Queensland has committed $40.4M for Mount Morgan pipeline

The funding comes after almost a year supplying water to the town by truck, as well as strict water restrictions for all residents. The potable water pipeline is likely to provide a long-term water solution running from Gracemere to the north of Mount Morgan.

Next steps will involve a detailed design process for the project before construction on the new pipeline can begin.

“What this does is bring certainty to those residents in Mount Morgan and we look forward to seeing it come to life in the near future as I am sure they will too,” said Water Councillor Donna Kirkland.

The state is ready for green energy

The state is already well-positioned to play a big role in the development of the hydrogen industry due to the readily available resources, existing quality infrastructure and passed experience as an energy supplier to offshore markets.

The roadmap has been designed to cover short, medium and long-term goals and is focussed on developing a robust workforce that can adapt to the shifting needs of the hydrogen industry.

Another advantage of the roadmap is the benefits it will provide to local communities in terms of energy supply, skills and training. It includes using insights and data to predict and plan for the needs of the hydrogen industry workforce as time goes on.

The consultation of Toowoomba to Warwick pipeline has been extended

Community consultation on a proposed pipeline from Toowoomba to Warwick has been extended, to ensure any residents who may have been impacted by the recent floods still have time to have their say.

Consultation was scheduled to close last week, but Queensland Minister for Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water Glenn Butcher said late submissions will be accepted until the end of March.

“We know there are many who are working through a range of issues associated with the recent floods and we don’t want those people to lose the opportunity to share their opinion about this important project,” he said.

The proposed pipeline aims to improve Warwick’s drought resilience and provide water supply to Toowoomba regional towns along the route, while ensuring there are no negative impacts to Toowoomba’s water security.

FFI has won approval from the Queensland government for a green energy manufacturing centre

The green energy manufacturing centre has received strong public endorsement after receiving its planning approval to create a world leading electrolyser, renewable industry and equipment factory at Gladstone. 

It is expected the initial electrolyser investment, which is scheduled for production in early 2023, cost around $114 million.  

FFI chairman Dr Andrew Forrest said Gladstone will be the centre of Queensland’s “green energy revolution”.

“This project will not only be a game-changer for green manufacturing in regional Queensland, it will also provide a major boost for the local economy and indelibly put Queensland as an epicentre of the coming green industry revolution,” Forrest said. The project is predicted to create hundreds of jobs across regional Queensland and according to chief executive officer Julie Shuttleworth, it will provide a significant “boost” to the Australian economy.  

“This manufacturing facility in Gladstone will be a major hub in Queensland’s growing hydrogen industry and we are pleased to be working with the State Government on pioneering green hydrogen manufacturing in Gladstone,” Shuttleworth said. 

This article is featured in the September edition of The Australian Pipeliner. 

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