Rio Tinto has become the first company to sign a statement of cooperation with the Queensland Government to secure the growth of the state’s future green industries.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the statement will add enormous value to the state’s economy.
“Today we’re signing a statement of cooperation with Rio Tinto to ensure Central Queensland can take advantage of our natural energy advantage, and drive employment and economic outcomes from investment in renewable energy projects,” Palaszczuk said.
“By backing Queensland to become a renewable energy and hydrogen superpower we will create and sustain jobs long into the future.”
Rio Tinto currently maintains several Queensland operations, including the Weipa site in Far North Queensland.
This involves three bauxite mines, processing facilities, shiploaders, power stations, as well as port, rail and ferry facilities for export.
The company also operates in Gladstone, 500 kilometres north of Brisbane, including at the Yarwun alumina refinery, Gladstone power station, Queensland Alumina and Boyne Smelters.
Rio Tinto Aluminium chief executive Ivan Vella said signing the statement was one thing, but effective action would require the wider industry to buy-in.
“Transitioning to a low carbon economy presents a real opportunity for industrial regions if stakeholders are willing to both think differently and collaborate,” Vella said.
“As Queensland’s largest energy user and a major Gladstone employer and manufacturer, Rio Tinto is uniquely positioned to work with the Queensland Government to deliver this vision.”
It is hoped that through the statement, Rio can work with the government to develop the technology and infrastructure required to see both parties flourish into a greener future.
“We are working closely with the Queensland Government on the role we can play by underwriting long-term green offtake for our industrial assets,” Vella said.
“This should help create the industrial demand needed to develop a globally competitive green energy solution, and lead to more processing and manufacturing in Central Queensland.”
Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni was also a part of the joint signing and said the recent developments with Fortescue Metals Group’s Gladstone manufacturing hub, and now Rio’s statement of cooperation, proved Queensland’s viability as a global epicentre for the industry.
“Renewable energy, hydrogen and manufacturing is at the core of our $3.34 billion Queensland Jobs Fund, and this partnership will set Queensland up to be a global leader in these spaces,” de Brenni said.
“We have put the foundations in place to leverage our traditional strengths and build a state that will thrive in the global transformations ahead.”