Port of Newcastle, one of the largest coal exporting ports in the world, has announced its partnership with ten global energy enablers to accelerate renewable energy transition with the Platform Zero Global Partnership for Hydrogen Innovation.
The partnership will focus on developing and scaling innovative hydrogen technologies and overcoming key bottlenecks to enable the hydrogen and clean energy transition and trade pathways.
The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Port of Newcastle CEO Craig Carmody and Chief Commercial Officer Simon Byrnes during their visit to the Netherlands for the World Hydrogen Summit, under the supervision of the Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development. The partnership includes leading industry players such as the Port of Rotterdam, HunterNet Newcastle, Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources (NIER), Erasmus University Rotterdam, Imperial College of London, Complexo do Pecem, Gemeente Rotterdam, and Wicked Acceleration Labs.
The partnership’s objective is to create a virtual global innovation hub, enabling the Port and region to learn from international Ports, researchers, and clean energy producers while contributing to the development of the Innovation Road Map that will enable a global hydrogen economy. The Platform Zero partnership will focus on developing relevant new technologies and solutions, with universities contributing to the cause, while ports and innovation hubs will develop infrastructure to support storage, transportation, and scaling of innovative hydrogen technologies.
Port of Newcastle’s Chief Commercial Officer Simon Byrnes said that collaborations like these will be key to the future enablement of a scalable clean energy trade pathway at Port of Newcastle. He added that as the designated NSW hydrogen hub, they are at the forefront of creating a new economy that faces many technological challenges to make it scalable, economical, reliable, and safe. Therefore, collaborating with other innovators who are developing and scaling new technologies will be the key enabler for a hydrogen economy.
Platform Zero founder Mare Straetmans said he was proud to bring together ports, universities, and innovators from Australia, Brazil, Chile, Portugal, UK, and the Netherlands to accelerate innovation for green hydrogen. With further membership expected in the future, the partnership will share, scale and support hydrogen innovation and each contribute to the global acceleration of this economy.
The Port of Newcastle was named a finalist at the World Hydrogen 2023 Awards in the Port of the Future Award category, along with Denmark’s Port of Esbjerg, Port of Roenne, and the Netherlands’ Port of Rotterdam, which was named the winner. As a finalist at the pinnacle event for world hydrogen, Port of Newcastle reaffirmed its commitment towards a cleaner, greener future through its work in driving hydrogen and clean energy production in the Hunter region.
The partnership marks another milestone in the Port of Newcastle’s diversification strategy, putting them at the table alongside like-minded global leaders in the sector. The benefits of this virtual global innovation hub will be exponential, allowing the Port and Region to learn from international Ports, researchers, and clean energy producers while contributing to the development of the Innovation Road Map that will enable a global hydrogen economy.
In conclusion, the Port of Newcastle’s participation in the Platform Zero Global Partnership for Hydrogen Innovation is a significant move that highlights the potential for hydrogen to play a leading role in the transition to a sustainable future. By collaborating with leading industry players worldwide, Port of Newcastle is paving the way for a cleaner, greener future and contributing to a global acceleration of the hydrogen economy.
Potential challenges for the partnership could arise in the development of technology, infrastructure, and implementation. It will be important to overcome these challenges to enable the scaling of innovative hydrogen technologies.