MELBOURNE (Reuters) - China's Premier Li Qiang was in Western Australia on Tuesday where he visited Fortescue's hydrogen research hub in Perth, as well as Australia's first lithium hydroxide production facility.

Australia's resource rich state exports half the world's seaborne iron ore and accounts for half its lithium. It is also home to the operations of top global miners BHP and Rio Tinto.

The world's fourth largest iron ore miner Fortescue has recently turned its hand to green energy and its Hazelmere hub is where it trials technology on hydrogen, ammonia and battery power for trains, ship engines, haul trucks and drill rigs.

Among Australia's major miners, Fortescue has the most aggressive carbon reduction plans, aiming to be carbon neutral by 2030 for emissions it generates on site or through its power consumption. Miners have been stepping up efforts to find alternatives to diesel fuel which is the dominant source of fuel for vehicles on remote mine sites.

The hub is where Fortescue developed the technology for its hydrogen-powered haul truck prototype, 'Europa,' which operated with hydrogen for the first time in May.

The prototype was a tie up with global equipment maker Liebherr, and contains a 1.6 megawatt battery and 500 kilowatts of fuel cells and can store over 380 kilograms of liquid hydrogen.

Li also visited Tianqi Lithium Energy Australia's (TLEA) lithium hydroxide plant which is owned 51% by Tianqi Lithium and 49% by Australian miner IGO Ltd.

The plant is set to produce 24,000 tonnes of lithium hydroxide a year from its first train once fully ramped up, with a second, third, and fourth train under consideration.

It is ironing out production issues, having produced 2,178 tonnes of the battery chemical in the three quarters to end March.

TLEA also owns a 51% share of Australia's Greenbushes lithium mine, among the world's largest, with US miner Albemarle.

($1 = 1.5147 Australian dollars)

(Reporting by Melanie Burton; editing by Miral Fahmy)