The NSW company behind newly announced plans to start producing Australian-made hydrogen-fuel cell vehicles has joined forces with an ACT-based renewables company for the local manufacture of hydrogen production units, or electrolysers, to fuel the zero-emissions cars.
Elvin Group Renewables, whose core business includes developing large-scale utility battery projects as well as green hydrogen electrolysers, said on Friday that it had teamed with newly launched hydrogen fuel cell vehicle manufacturer, H2X to fast-track Australia’s hydrogen economy.
As The Driven reported earlier this month, the Port Kembla-based H2X hopes to revive the car manufacturing industry in Australia and create up to 5,000 new jobs through the production of a locally manufactured hydrogen-fuelled SUV called Snowy, starting in 2022.
The H2X team is headed by CEO Brendan Norman, who has held executive positions in the past with VW in Saudi Arabia, Shanghai and Singapore, Audi in Japan and South Korea, and who has worked with Grove Hydrogen and Wales-based hydrogen car maker Riversimple over the past decade.
The two companies are linked by Samuel Blackadder, a former executive of the Australian arm of Chinese PV giant Jinko Solar and – as it happens – the unsuccessful Greens candidate for the “ultra-marginal” seat of Herbert, in north Queensland, in last year’s federal election.
Blackadder is currently the managing director of Elvin, as well as the chair at H2X, and in a recent interview said Elvin Group had a diverse range of targets: from creating the world’s first emissions-free concrete business to launching an Australian-made electrolyser to make cost-effective hydrogen.
On the latter goal, Elvin is ramping up its efforts, including teeing up a partnership with Australian-based company Hydrostar, in whose green hydrogen electrolyser technology Elvin has invested.
This technology, which Elvin says is ready for commercialisation, has been produced and trialled under lab conditions in Canberra using locally sourced labour and 100% recycled materials.
Blackadder said in a statement that the short-term demand and use of the electrolysers would include service station refuelling, by placing a 500kW to 1MW container for hydrogen production and hydrogen refuelling onsite for vehicles.
He said systems could be located at either existing service stations or at business-based locations such as vehicle fleet depots, work sites, farms or distribution centres.
The companies will also work on the manufacture and assembly of larger-scale hydrogen electrolysers, in this case in partnership with US-based company GinerELX.
With the backing of GinerELX, Elvin has entered discussions with Denzo Pty Ltd ,the trustee of The Mathews Family Trust, to supplying an initial 40MW Green Hydrogen Electrolyser facility.
Elvin says Mathews is in the process of developing three large plants to produce green hydrogen from solar, located at the Port of Bundaberg in Queensland, Port Kembla in NSW, and in an unspecified Renewable Energy Zone of NSW.
“We believe the time is right for Australia to take hold and drive the hydrogen economy which also means taking control of manufacturing opportunities, “ Blackadder said in a statement on Friday.
“Instead of importing a hydrogen electrolyser from overseas markets, we should be utilising our talented and experienced workforce by providing upskilling into a new industry.
H2X’s Norman said the local manufacture of the electrolyser would provide nationwide ready access to green hydrogen fuel for all hydrogen vehicles, including H2X’s planned Snowy SUVs.
“This is an exciting development, especially as these electrolysers are being manufactured in Australia, providing jobs and opportunity in our economy,” Norman said.
“We are very pleased to be involved in this project and additional usage of our capacities is an important backbone for H2X’s growth and stability.”