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A multi-billion-dollar green hydrogen plant could create thousands of jobs in a remote Northern Territory township still reeling from the shock of a refinery shutdown.

Allied Green Ammonia and the progressive Indigenous-run Gumatj Corporation have signed a deal to build a production hub on the Gove Peninsula.

The project will produce 165,000 tons of hydrogen annually, which will be used to manufacture 912,500 tons of green ammonia.

More than 2000 direct and indirect jobs will be created during construction and a further 500 during operation.

The initiative will be a massive boost for Nhulunbuy, which is recovering from the closure of the bauxite refinery and preparing for the shutdown of the mine.

The agreement was signed by Howard Smith and Alister Trier from the NT Government, Alfred Benedict from Allied Green Ammonia, Klaus Helms from Gumatj Corporation and Emir Aziz from Allied Green Ammonia at NT Resources Week.

Gumatj chief executive Klaus Helms says the announcement demonstrates that there is economic life in Gove after Rio Tinto’s mine shuts by end of decade.

“This gives us hope there are projects around we can develop over here,” he told business editor Cam Smith of the NT News..


He said negotiations over section 19 – the part of the Land Rights Act that covers use of Aboriginal land – had to be held.

“Then we can start negotiations between the Northern Land Council, Department of Mines, Rio Tinto and Gumatj Corporation.

“I’m very optimistic but I’m also cautious.”

Mr Helms told the NT News that one of the attractions for potential investors was the existing infrastructure at Rio’s Gove bauxite operation, which made the delivery of large projects more achievable.

“I can provide the port, power and water for developers,” he said.

“It’s the infrastructure I can provide and the land for the solar. You have to light the fuse and see what happens…

“The key is that when Rio pulls down the bauxite operation we want to make sure we have a customer base and an ability to grow for the region.”

Gumatj Corporation has already established a space centre in Arnhem Land.

NASA launched three suborbital rockets at the Equatorial Launch Australia centre last year.