Yarwun refinery.

Gladstone Regional Council has welcomed the announcement of Rio Tinto and Sumitomo Corporation’s innovative hydrogen pilot plant, which is expected to lower carbon emissions from the alumina refining process.  

Supported by the Federal Government’s Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), the project – the Yarwun Hydrogen Calcination Pilot Demonstration Program – will involve the construction of a hydrogen plant at Rio Tinto’s Yarwun refinery.  

Gladstone Region Mayor, Matt Burnett, currently in Japan on a Trade Mission with the Queensland Premier’s Delegation, welcomed the announcement from Rio Tinto and Sumitomo.  

“This is another exciting step towards decarbonising the alumina production process and securing the future of Gladstone’s existing industries with new innovative partnerships,” Mayor Burnett said.  

“The Gladstone Region is set to become a renewable energy superpower, so to have Rio Tinto and Sumitomo invest in our region’s future, with the backing of the Australian Government through ARENA, is exactly what our ten-year Economic Transition Roadmap sets out to achieve.  

“The announcement also demonstrates how major industry, in particular Rio Tinto, is looking at ways to maintain Gladstone’s proud industrial heritage into a new decarbonised future.”  

Gladstone Region Deputy Mayor, Kahn Goodluck, said, if successful, the Yarwun Hydrogen Calcination Pilot Demonstration Program could pave the way for adoption at a global scale.  

“As advocates for the region, we are looking forward to seeing this project progress ahead of a projected opening in 2025,” Cr Goodluck said.  

“The announcement further emphasises that with the right support and investment, Gladstone can become a leader in renewables and clean industry, making our region an even greater place to live, learn, work and play.”

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