Government, industry and capital markets are fast-tracking decarbonisation initiatives around the globe. But lengthy planning and approvals processes and red tape typically put the brakes on progress.
Queensland is miles ahead “accelerating the clean energy transition” according to Mike Kilcullen from Fortescue Future Industries (FFI). When asked why FFI chose Queensland as the site for their electrolyser factory, Kilcullen says the answer was simple: Queensland “could do it quicker than everywhere else.”
“World leaders.” That’s how Kilcullen describes the Queensland Government and how quickly they can help get a business up and running.
As Manager of Manufacturing Projects at FFI, Kilcullen is responsible for the design and delivery of one of the largest electrolyser factories in the world. FFI’s multi-gigawatt-scale factory is being built in Queensland in the Gladstone State Development Area (SDA) – a unique location featuring strategically positioned land that is tailormade for industrial development.
For green energy business and the vast array of supporting businesses – from transport and logistics to manufacturing and resource processing – the Queensland Government is keen to do deals and offer practical support to get businesses up and running faster in their SDAs.
“There’s a phrase our chairman uses: ‘no time to waste’”, says Kilcullen, “We’re already building in Queensland … So, in 12 months we’ve done the development approval, done a tender, awarded the contract, negotiated the contract, and we’re about to be putting the slab down. In terms of accelerating the clean energy transition, the first thing we need is to build electrolysers, and it’s the Government’s support in the SDA that’s helped us get there.”
FFI aren’t the only company benefitting from the support of the Queensland Government: the Gladstone and Abbot Point SDAs are quickly becoming clean energy hubs with circular economies where businesses work together to create Australia’s clean energy future.
And we’re not just talking about the big players: every clean energy hub needs support for all stages of the supply chain.
Plus, Queensland SDAs are the perfect site for many trades currently working in oil and gas – including pipefitters and electricians – to make the shift to doing the same work but for green energy manufacturers.
“It’s an extremely supportive environment to be working in,” says ACCIONA Energia’s General Manager of Brand and Marketing, Emma Reiners, about the Gladstone SDA. ACCIONA Energia is building up to 600MWp solar photovoltaic plant and is in discussions regarding its supply that could power future energy users in the Gladstone region such asStanwell Corporations’ hydrogen production facility.
“If you’re in the SDA area it streamlines the processes, and that is really important to others looking to set up there, because in our industry you often encounter red tape. An organisation may look and say, ‘where am I going to have an opportunity to do this with the best chance of success?’ And in an area that is purposely designed, you know you’re in the right place and and you’ll be supported by the Queensland Government with processes that are streamlined. For new people, they can see that they want to be with EDQ because that gives them the best chance of success.”
When asked why FFI chose to purchase land at the Gladstone SDA, Kilcullen listed the “speed of planning approval” as the top reason.
A streamlined approvals process
It can be an arduous, slow task getting a new green energy or supporting business up and running due to extensive and rigorous planning and approval processes, infrastructure requirements and long, drawn-out contract negotiations.
But in Queensland, they’re doing things differently by streamlining the entire land application, approvals and contract processes. Land for sale in SDAs comes with the support of both Economic Development Queensland (EDQ) and the Coordinator General.
Together, they’re helping to get green energy businesses and related supporting industries up and running successfully … and at speed.
And Queensland is offering something other states in Australia can’t. As Kilcullen puts it: “there’s other jurisdictions playing catch up, saying ‘what can we do?’. Queensland has set up a whole regime to get us there quicker.”
There’s no doubt that Queensland SDAs are the places to get your green energy or supporting business up and running faster.
Queensland is showing the world how it can be done.
As Kilcullen puts it, “We [FFI] now have more than 20 countries we’re proposing renewable green hydrogen projects in at various stages, and our experience in Queensland has now become a global benchmark for what we’d like to see in other countries.”
To find out more about accelerating your own green energy or supporting business or to explore land for sale in Queensland’s SDAs, head to industrial.edq.com.au/clean-energy.