Queensland Backing Renewable Hydrogen Fuel Projects to Drive Heavy Transport

Renderings of the proposed Kogan Renewable Hydrogen Demonstration Plant

Renderings of the proposed Kogan Renewable Hydrogen Demonstration Plant

Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria have announced a collaboration on a renewable hydrogen refuelling network for heavy transport and logistics along Australia’s eastern seaboard.

‘Green’ or renewable hydrogen is created when the power needed for the electrolysis process is generated via renewable sources such as wind, solar or hydro power.

Under the Memorandum of Understanding, the States have agreed to collaborate on the development of the east coast hydrogen refuelling network that will include the nation’s most critical roads and highways, starting with the Hume Highway, the Pacific Highway and the Newell Highway.

Although no timeline has yet been announced for the project, Queensland Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni said hydrogen presents an enormous opportunity for the State, including emissions reduction opportunities and fuel security benefits.

“When you consider the impacts of the COVID pandemic and international conflicts, it’s clear Australia must achieve energy independence, to shield our nation from foreign companies and foreign powers,” said Mr de Brenni.

“Low emissions electricity and hydrogen fuelled heavy transport will sit at the heart of the renewable energy eco-system.

“Transport is the fastest growing sector for emissions and ironically it could also be the key to reducing them.

“Transport applications are one of the most economic uses of hydrogen, where it is already competitive with diesel on a cost-of-fuel basis.”

The news comes on top of an announcement that the construction of a renewable hydrogen plant and refuelling facility for heavy transport is expected to start in the next six months in Queensland’s Western Downs region.

The Kogan Renewable Hydrogen Demonstration Plant near Chinchilla will receive funding from the Queensland Government to the tune of $28.9 million and publicly owned CS Energy has appointed IHI Engineering Australia (a subsidiary of IHI Corporation Japan) to construct the facility.

The plant is expected to produce 50,000kg of renewable hydrogen each year once it becomes operational in 2023, and Mr de Brenni said that the plant’s hydrogen electrolyser will only be powered by behind-the-meter solar energy, “making it one of the few truly renewable hydrogen projects in Australia.”

“Queensland has a unique competitive advantage in the production of renewable hydrogen, with our proximity to Asia, established infrastructure, manufacturing capabilities and renewable energy generation,” said Mr de Brenni.

The demonstration project includes the co-location of a solar farm, battery, hydrogen electrolyser, hydrogen fuel cell, hydrogen storage and out-loading facility.

It will be built next to CS Energy’s Kogan Creek Power Station, but will only be powered by renewable energy from the solar farm.

Construction is expected to begin in September 2022 once all relevant development approvals have been finalised and CS Energy will operate and maintain the plant once it is completed.

Source: Motor Trader e-Magazine (April 2022) 

20 April 2022

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