Dec 01, 2020

Boost for budding hydrogen industry

Boost for budding hydrogen industry

The State Government is committing a further $10 million over the next four years to develop the renewable hydrogen industry in Queensland.

It comes after two globally significant announcements about Queensland hydrogen projects in the past week.

A partnership between Stanwell and Iwatani Corporation will progress planning on a renewable hydrogen export facility in Gladstone, and Origin Energy announced last Thursday that planned to start early engineering in 2021 on a major hydrogen project in Townsville.

Member for Rockhampton and government hydrogen champion Barry O’Rourke said the government’s investment into the green hydrogen industry was catalysing investment amongst the private sector.

“These types of announcements reflect the fact that the private sector and our international partners have recognised the potential of the hydrogen industry in Queensland, to compete on global scale,” Mr O’Rourke said.

Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Minister Mick de Brenni said the government’s first round of the $15 million Hydrogen Industry Development Fund was quickly oversubscribed when it opened last year.

“The $10 million (Budget) commitment extends the support available to the emerging hydrogen industry in Queensland and is expected to lead to both construction and highly skilled operational jobs with the majority of investment interest in regional Queensland,” he said.

“The next round of Queensland’s Hydrogen Industry Development Fund will open following consultation with industry set down for January 2021.”

Mr de Brenni said there were four successful recipients under the first round of the Hydrogen Industry Development Fund including projects in Townsville, Brisbane and, Gladstone, and the Scenic Rim.

“Australian Gas Networks will build a facility in Gladstone to deliver renewable hydrogen into the city’s gas network and I’m pleased to announce Spicers Retreat in the Scenic Rim will also build a renewable hydrogen plant, storage system and fuel cells at their eco camps,” he said.

In Townsville Sun Metals plans to build a renewable hydrogen facility and in Brisbane, the University of Queensland will replace two diesel-powered intercampus shuttle buses with hydrogen fuel cell electric buses.

Member for Redlands and government hydrogen champion Kim Richards said supporting private sector investment was a focus area of the Queensland Hydrogen Industry Strategy 2019-2024, released last year.

Support for the hydrogen industry includes:

  • $20 million towards a Queensland Apprenticeships Centre in renewable hydrogen at Beenleigh
  • $10.6 million towards a Hydrogen and Renewable Energy training facility at Bohle TAFE in Townsville (Department of Employment Small Business and Training)
  • $2 million to upgrade training facilities at Gladstone State High School to prepare students for jobs in the hydrogen industry