Energy Transition: New Caledonia Aligned with Queensland
21 June 2022
Invited by the French-Australian Chamber of Commerce (FACCI) in Queensland following his mission in March 2020, the Minister for energy transition and renewable energy, Christopher Gygès, took part in a conference dedicated to New Caledonia and entitled: "Revitalising the nickel industry through sustainable production", on May 16 in Brisbane.
Christopher Gygès spoke by videoconference on the "Energy Transition" component of this conference organized by the FACCI, indicating that New Caledonia had decided to accelerate its transition and to position itself as a leader in terms of decarbonization of its mining and metallurgy industry.
STENC objectives included in the Paris Agreement
Referring to the framework agreement of May 24 and the recently updated version of the New Caledonian Energy Transition Plan (STENC 2.0), the Minister outlined the four pillars of New Caledonia's strategy in line with the objectives of the Paris Agreement. These are the phasing out and conversion of costly and obsolete thermal generation facilities, the phased deployment of renewable energy production facilities, the development of an energy storage plan and the development of a hydrogen production sector.
Recalling the ambition of STENC 2.0 to achieve, a minimum 70% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to 2019,by 2035, he confirmed the 2030 goal of integrating 50% of renewable energy in the metallurgical energy mix.
Following this speech, followed by the presentation of animated videos on the Energy Transition, the members of the New Caledonian delegation present in Brisbane, Mr. Augustin Calandreau, advisor to Mr. Gygès, and Mr. André Boudart, Director of the New Caledonian Energy Agency (ACE), accompanied by Yves Lafoy, Official Representative for New Caledonia to Australia, answered questions from the fifty or so entrepreneurs who had come to attend this conference
Common interests with Queensland
The other part of this "Mining and Metallurgy" meeting focused on the Townsville Energy Chemicals Hub (TECH) project, an initiative of Queensland Pacific Metals Ltd (QPM). In 2023, QPM will import nickel ore from New Caledonia to produce nickel and cobalt sulphates and high-purity aluminium, critical metals essential for electric vehicle batteries.
On the sidelines of the conference, a program of meetings, co-organized by Alain Etchegaray, vice-president of FACCI and Yves Lafoy, allowed the two members of the delegation to meet with representatives of the Queensland Natural Resources Department, the City of Brisbane, and the Australian-Pacific Islands Business Council (APIBC).
These discussions dealt with subjects of common interest between New Caledonia and Queensland, such as industrial decarbonation, renewable energy storage, multi-year energy planning, ecomobility (land and sea) and the development of hydrogen production.
This convergence of challenges in the energy transition sector incites fosters close relations with Queensland and to may lead the Minister to consider visiting Queensland again at the end of the year.