Bundaberg has been named as the first location for a $300 million hydrogen production facility, one of several that will be dotted along the east coast of Australia under a bold plan led by Australian hydrogen vehicle startup H2X.
The plan was announced on Wednesday by H2X, which announced in June its plan to restart the Australian car making industry, and will see clean hydrogen manufactured at a string of locations on the eastern seaboard for the fuel cell vehicle and industrial markets.
The plan has been inked between the Port Kembla-based startup, large-scale battery and hydrogen company Elvin Renewables and solar project firm Denzo to form Green Hydrogen Australia Group (GHAG), to produce 6,000 tonnes of clean hydrogen at the facility a year.
In Bundaberg, the plan is for an 80MW electrolyer sourcing renewable energy power, with the electrolysers provided through another partnership with US company Plug Power. The project will be split into two 40MW stages.
Sam Blackadder, MD for Elvin, said in a statement that the deal is “ground breaking” for the creation of a clean hydrogen industry in Australia.
Ken Mathews, MD for Denzo, said that with Bundaberg now determined as the first site, in addition to another planned for Port Kembla, the group is now on the lookout for a third port site which will likely be in NSW.
The plan to dot hydrogen manufacturing facilities along the coast will also allow for on-site refuelling stations for hydrogen vehicles, including the H2X Snowy and other purpose-built heavy-duty and long-haul vehicles it has in the pipeline.
In June, H2X boss Brendan Norman told The Driven that its plan to create a hydrogen vehicle industry would be kindled with back-to-base vehicles fuelled by stations in strategic industrial areas starting with Port Kembla.
“As part of an organisation pursuing Green Hydrogen activities confirms our choice of Australia as the best place in the world to start a sustainable transport revolution,” said Norman today of the new announcement in a note by email.
“We see incredible opportunity going forward with GHA and working together with Mathews family and Elvin Group is further affirmed as a great cooperative team for Australia’s future,” he said.
H2X says that in addition to its Snowy hydrogen ute that broke cover in June, it is developing a range of vehicles for industrial, commercial and private use with first prototypes to be unveiled over coming months.
While GHAG offered no timeline on construction of the Bundaberg site, its creation will signal another step in Queensland’s transformation to a clean power state.
Fellow regional centre Townsville has also been pegged as a location for a green transition, with Australian company Magnix Technology making plans for an electric vehicle battery manufacturing facility supported by a recent $7.65 million fund raise.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.