University of Newcastle and Port of Newcastle have entered a five-year agreement with a Korean university to research green ammonia as a fuel source for producing electricity.
The public National Research Foundation of Korea will provide $1.3 million funding over five years to help establish an ammonia research centre in Newcastle.
The university and port have signed a three-way agreement with Pusan National University to collaborate on developing green ammonia for power generation.
University of Newcastle vice-chancellor Professor Alex Zelinsky said the partnership would enhance local research in clean energy to help reduce emissions.
"We're excited by the opportunities this partnership will also create for our students to collaborate on clean energy projects and gain hands-on experience with industry to become work-ready graduates," he said.
Port of Newcastle chief executive Craig Carmody said the education and research partnership would support the port's government-backed clean energy precinct, which aims to develop hydrogen and other clean energies as commercially viable exports.
"We are standing at the forefront of the development of a new industry," he said.
"Partnerships, both local and international, which bring together knowledge, infrastructure, investment, skills and resources will be critical in the establishment and scale-up of a domestic clean energy economy and export trade pathway at Port of Newcastle.
"Creating a place for local, Australian and international commercial expertise and research knowledge to work collaboratively ensures Newcastle and the Hunter remains Australia's energy powerhouse."
Green ammonia can be produced synthetically by using renewable energy to combine hydrogen and nitrogen at high pressure and temperature.
Various nations, including Australia, are working on developing green ammonia as a viable clean energy source for power stations and as an alternative to diesel in trucks and ships.
Ammonia is easier to store and transport than hydrogen.
Pusan National University is in South Korea's second largest city and, like Newcastle, has a focus on clean energy research.
Korea is one of Newcastle's major coal export customers and faces a huge challenge to meet its net zero target in 2050.