Drone photo of Townsville

The Federal Government has announced plans to develop the Townsville Region Hydrogen Hub in North Queensland with an investment of up to $70 million. 

The Federal Government said the project delivers on its election commitment to establish a hydrogen hub in North Queensland.

The project is expected to create at least 200 direct job opportunities for local electricians, plumbers, fitters and concreters during construction, as well ongoing jobs in technical and engineering roles.

The initial stage of the hub is designed to produce 800t of green hydrogen per year, enough to fuel more than 40 heavy vehicles a year. It is expected to ramp up to around 3,000t for domestic supply, and ultimately in excess of 150,000t for export.

The hub, led by Edify Energy, will produce green hydrogen for use by local industry and in zero-emissions transport. It will also deliver a 17.6MW domestic production facility with integrated renewable energy generation and battery storage.

Edify and its partners – including Siemens Energy, Queensland TAFE, James Cook University and Townsville Enterprise Limited – will work with industry bodies to provide education and training to ensure that Townsville’s workforce is skilled and ready to develop and sustain the region’s hydrogen industry.

Construction will begin in 2025 and is expected to be completed in 2026, with initial commercial operations scheduled to start in 2027.

The project has received more than $137 million of combined investment. The government’s contribution is up to $70 million, including $20.7 million from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. The remaining funding is being sourced from industry and the German Government.

This Australian-German collaboration brings together Germany’s expertise in hydrogen technology and Australia’s potential to be a world leader in the production and export of renewable hydrogen.

The Townsville project is part of more than $500 million in federal funding for hydrogen hubs in regional centres like Gladstone, Bell Bay, Kwinana, the Pilbara, Port Bonython and the Hunter.

Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, said, “Investing in Townsville’s hydrogen industry is investing in Australia’s future.

“The global shift to clean energy and decarbonised economies is a huge economic opportunity for North Queensland.

“We are determined to grasp this opportunity and are investing half a billion dollars into regional hydrogen hubs all around Australia,” Mr Albanese said.

Federal Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Chris Bowen, said, “Renewable hydrogen is a game changer, opening the door to green metals, green fertiliser, green power and supporting industrial decarbonisation.

“The whole world needs renewable hydrogen, and regional Australia is ready to provide it.

“With its port, expertise in exports and access to Queensland’s abundant solar resources, Townsville is ideally placed to help power the world with Australian renewable energy and create jobs in regional Australia,” Mr Bowen said.

Assistant Editor, Utility magazine

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