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Backing Portland as a renewable fuel manufacturing hub


Portland could be home to one of Australia’s first green shipping fuel production hubs, thanks to Victorian Government support to kickstart the plan.

The Government is backing a feasibility study for a renewable fuel manufacturing hub in the portside city, with $500,000 in funding through the Portland Diversification Fund.

The feasibility study will be led by Portland H2 – a subsidiary of HAMR Energy – towards establishing a plant converting plantation forestry residue to green methanol. The study includes preliminary engineering and planning for the plant that would also include a 100-megawatt electrolyser to produce renewable hydrogen from water.

The $7.5 million Portland Diversification Fund is supporting projects that will strengthen Glenelg Shire’s economy by progressing necessary planning works required to get projects shovel ready.

The Portland Renewable Fuels Project, if feasible, could attract more than $800 million investment into Portland, creating 80 long term jobs and up to another 200 during construction. It would deliver 200,000 tonnes per annum of more sustainable fuel for the shipping industry – the equivalent to taking 80,000 cars off the road each year.

Shipping is responsible for more than 2% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. The use of green methanol can reduce the carbon intensity by 90% compared to heavy fuel oil that is currently used.

HAMR Energy believe Portland is a prime location for a renewable methanol facility, located near Australia’s largest plantation forestry production area. As part of the feasibility study, it will investigate using plantation forestry residue, like harvest trimmings or damaged timber to produce green methanol.

Portland is also home to a deep-water port which sees 300 vessels and approximately 5 million tonnes of forestry product loaded each year.

This project is part of the Government’s broader $17.4 million Portland Economic Diversification Plan which is supporting long-term economic growth in the Glenelg Shire through community-led projects and planning.

This includes $7.3 million in funding to upgrade freight roads and provide road infrastructure to industrial land in Portland which will enable further investment.

The plan is part of the Victorian Government’s investment of more than $41 billion in rural and regional Victoria since 2015, transforming and boosting local economics and generating jobs growth.