Thursday, 01 June 2023
Good morning, I am very pleased to be with you.
I thank Mr Ross Gregory and the AustCham team for the chance to engage with you on South Australia’s economic priorities and activities, and the opportunities these may present.
This is my first visit to South Korea in my capacity as Governor of South Australia.
I note it follows visits last year by South Australia’s Premier and Ministers for Energy and Mining, and Trade and Investment, demonstrating the importance our state places on its relationship with the Republic of Korea.
Earlier this year, South Australia’s Premier released the South Australian Economic Statement – an overarching document which articulates the government’s ambition for the South Australian economy.
The statement sets out the government’s mission to capitalise on the global green transition.
As you can see, South Australia is fortunate in its geographical orientation, benefiting from an extensive coastline and an abundance of coincident sun and wind.
By utilising our state’s sustainability credentials and natural endowment, we are set to provide green energy, products and services to the world.
South Australia’s renewable energy transition is truly remarkable.
From less than 1 per cent renewable generation only two decades ago, South Australia now generates just under 70 per cent of its energy from renewable sources, ranking South Australia first globally for annual renewable energy.
We’re also on track to supply one hundred per cent of the state’s operational demand with renewable energy by 2030.
South Australia has around 90 publicly announced large-scale renewable energy projects, including more than 30 operational projects and a further 56 projects in the pipeline.
Projects in the pipeline have a total estimated capital development investment of $18.4 billion and 15.3GW of renewable energy generation, including projects worth $7 billion (3.8GW) in service or under construction.
The next step is the realisation of the state’s ambition to become a major producer of green hydrogen.
Fundamental to South Australia’s – and the world’s – transition to ‘clean’ energy is the need for a continued supply of critical minerals, key to the production of electric vehicles, wind turbines, solar panels, electrolysers, fuel cells and rechargeable batteries.
While in Korea last year, South Australia’s Premier spoke of the shared commitment between Australia and South Korea to increasing our cooperative efforts and ensure supply chain resilience for critical minerals and associated research and development, and trade and investment opportunities.
Australia’s rich deposits of critical minerals, including rare earth elements, lithium, graphite, vanadium, nickel, and cobalt provide us with a significant opportunity to foster South Korean investment in our critical minerals projects, nothing the increasing demands of your high-tech manufacturing sector.
Our critical minerals deposits will be crucial to supporting the world’s clean energy and technology transformation.
As South Australia moves from 70% to 100% net renewable energy by 2023, we are growing ‘green’ minerals and processing industries to supply copper and other critical minerals across the globe, for low emissions technologies including electric vehicles and renewable energy technology.
The Green Industrial Transition Roadmap, currently under development, will provide the blueprint for how significant investment in renewable energy projects will drive our industries to plan, build and operate in a low emissions environment.
South Australia's net zero pathways strategy is currently under development, with detailed action plans to decarbonise different domains and sectors, and the potential to highlight economic opportunities.
South Australia’s clean energy transition – including our significant investments in hydrogen projects – is also providing a pathway to transforming our heavy industry towards a low-carbon economy, allowing high temperature, energy intensive industries in South Australia.
This will be central to South Australia’s Green Industrial Transition Roadmap, and the development of a South Australian Green Iron and Steel Strategy – drawing on the abundant high quality iron or magnetite and expanding renewable resources in South Australia, such as hydrogen, toward establishing green iron and possibly green steel production in the state.
The Strategy will seek to position South Australia as the best location in the world to produce green iron and steel for domestic and international steel makers, assisting both Australian and international companies to reach 2030 and 2050 emission targets.
The South Australian Government is making a once-in-a-generation investment to leverage the State’s abundant renewable wind and solar resources with a view to becoming a global leader in green hydrogen and green minerals.
Central to this is an investment of more than half a billion dollars in implementing the government’s Hydrogen Jobs Plan, which will enable South Australia to be a world leader and major world supplier.
While South Australia is already world-leading in renewable energy generation, the development of South Australia’s hydrogen production capacity will enable us to create clean energy at times when the sun is not shining and the wind isn’t blowing.
South Australia is establishing a world-leading regulatory framework through dedicated legislation – a new Hydrogen and Renewable Energy Act – which will support the significant expansion of wind and solar energy generation capacity required to power South Australia’s hydrogen industry.
The Hydrogen Jobs Plan will ensure that South Australia is on the hydrogen map internationally, with first mover advantage presenting significant hydrogen supply chain and export development opportunities.
The plan features a 250 megawatt electrolyser, a 200 megawatt hydrogen-fuelled power plant and a hydrogen storage facility, all to be operational by December 2025.
In brief, I would like to provide just a quick snapshot of the leading hydrogen projects currently under way in South Australia.
The Port Bonython Hydrogen Hub on the Eyre Peninsula aims to be South Australia’s first large-scale export terminal for hydrogen.
It is an integral part of my state’s early mover strategy, and the South Australian Government is now working with industry to realise the potential for significant hydrogen production.
The South Australian Government is supporting Nyrstar’s Port Pirie Smelter to develop a proposed $750 million green hydrogen production facility.
In April, Iron Road announced that it is partnering with Amp Energy to develop green hydrogen at scale at the Cape Hardy Port Precinct on the Eyre Peninsula.
We have also seen Marubeni recently announce that it commenced work on a multi-million dollar hydrogen production project at Bolivar, north of Adelaide in South Australia.
Finally, South Australia is also home to the largest proton exchange membrane electrolyser in Australia.
Hydrogen Park South Australia is a 1.25-megawatt electrolyser delivered by Australian Gas Networks, with the support of the South Australian Government.
It already delivers a blend of 5 per cent renewable hydrogen and natural gas to domestic consumers, with plans to significantly expand.
All this makes Australia – and South Australia – perfectly placed to leverage our renewable resources to be a global leader in a greener future, in partnership with key allies such as South Korea.
Thank you for the opportunity to share with you today South Australia’s world leading renewable energy capabilities, and strong hydrogen ambitions.
I thank you, Ross, and the AustCham Korea team, for facilitating such an engaging event.
I look forward to seeing South Australia’s and Korea’s relationship continue to go from strength to strength, ably assisted by the important work of your organisation.