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BAE Systems Australia is building an F-35 warplane sustainment warehouse in Australia under a new contract with Lockheed Martin. The warehouse will store critical parts for the F-35 warplane and support F-35 operations in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region. The facility will be co-located with the Royal Australian Air Force Base in Williamtown in regional New South Wales. Defence is a priority sector for Australia. We are investing A$270 billion in defence capability over the next 10 years. There are investment opportunities across the defence portfolio, including national intelligence and cyber.
Australia could become a “value-adding superpower” that refines its critical minerals into high grade chemicals and metals before export, a new report finds. Australian think tank Clean Energy Finance has mapped out the nation’s opportunity to lead the world in minerals mining, renewables-powered onshore refining and pre-export manufacturing. It notes that Australia is at the start of a “globally significant once in a century clean energy-led investment boom”. The growing global focus on energy transition plays to Australia’s competitive advantages in firmed renewables and value-added critical minerals at global scale, the report finds.
Japanese energy company ENEOS Corporation has opened a pilot green hydrogen facility in Brisbane, Queensland. ENEOS will use its patented electrolysis technology, Direct MCH®, to produce up to 20 kilograms of green hydrogen a day. The company will produce the hydrogen in the form of methylcyclohexane (MCH). This allows it to be stored and transported as a liquid. It will refine the liquid back to hydrogen at its facility in Japan.
French renewables company Neoen will start building its fifth big battery in Australia. The 200 MW / 400 MwH Blyth Battery in South Australia will be paired with Neoen’s Goyder South Stage 1 wind farm. It will deliver 70 MW of renewable energy to power BHP’s Olympic Dam operations in South Australia. Neoen is a driving force behind clean energy investments in Australia. It has invested more than A$3 billion in 17 large-scale renewable energy projects since 2012.
Investments in Australia’s clean energy sector are expected to grow by 23 per cent in 2023, according to energy market intelligence group Rystad Energy – substantially higher than average global growth. Worldwide, low-carbon investments are projected to increase by US$60 billion – up 10 per cent on 2022 levels, driven largely by wind, hydrogen and carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS). “The location of confirmed projects this year shows that Africa is set to attract the highest investment growth, with a 26 per cent increase, mainly driven by onshore wind projects in Egypt,” says Rystad. “Australia takes second place with 23 per cent growth, with expansion across almost all sectors”.
Spanish renewables giant Iberdrola and Australian hydrogen developer ABEL Energy are building a green hydrogen plant in Tasmania. The €1.1 billion Bell Bay Powerfuels project will be one of the largest in the world. It will produce 200,000 tonnes of green methanol per year in its first phase of development, rising to 300,000 tonnes in its second phase. This investment is on top of the €2 billion Iberdrola has committed to Australia since 2020. It has plans to invest up to €3 billion in the coming years to help Australia transition to clean energy.
Danish renewables giant European Energy has invested in the 3,600 MW Pacific Solar Hydrogen Project in Gladstone, Queensland. The company will develop the combined solar farm and battery facility on a 6,000-hectare site and manage the grid process. When complete, the project is expected to produce over 100,000 tonnes of green hydrogen a year.
The Australian Government has opened a $50 million grant funding scheme to accelerate development of the country’s critical minerals sector and support downstream processing. The Critical Minerals Development Program will provide grants from $1 million to $30 million. Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Madeleine King said it would help Australia become a trusted and stable global supplier of critical minerals and rare earths, which are crucial for low-emissions technologies such as electric vehicles, batteries and solar panels, as well as aerospace and defence applications. “The road to net zero runs through Australia’s resources sector,” Minister King said.
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