The Federal Government has committed a $70 million investment to develop the Bell Bay hydrogen hub in Northern Tasmania, which it says will advance Australia’s future as a renewable energy superpower while creating regional jobs.
The project is set to generate around 740 jobs in management and maintenance – such as engineers and technicians – while hub construction is expected to provide work for local skilled trades like concreters, plumbers, fitters and electricians.
The hub will produce 45,000 tonnes of renewable hydrogen a year, enough to fuel over 2,200 heavy vehicles for a year.
The Federal Government said Bell Bay is an ideal location for a hydrogen hub due to its deep-water port and being powered by Tasmania’s 100 per cent renewables-based electricity grid.
The total investment will be at least $300 million, including funding from the Federal and Tasmanian State Governments as well as the private sector.
The project is due to commence in 2024 and is expected to be complete by early 2028.
Federal Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Chris Bowen, said supporting renewable hydrogen production was vital to Australia’s future as a green energy exporter and green manufacturing nation.
“Investing in an Australian renewable hydrogen industry is investing in Australia’s future to become a renewable energy superpower,” Mr Bowen said.
“Bell Bay is a production and export powerhouse, backed by 100 per cent renewable electricity, and this hub will provide jobs, support new manufacturing and spur investment in regional Australia as the world decarbonises.”
Tasmania State Minister for Energy and Renewables, Nick Duigan, said delivering the Bell Bay hub was a huge step towards a major new industry.
“Northern Tasmania is set to be the new home of renewable energy generation, using projects like this to attract huge investments in renewable hydrogen for use in Australia and supply to the world,” Mr Duigan said.
“Bell Bay is perfectly placed to be a world-class green hydrogen hub, with its established port infrastructure and highly experienced and skilled workforce.”
The Tasmania State Government is leading a consortium of partners, including TasPorts, TasNetworks, TasWater, TasIrrigation and the Bell Bay Advanced Manufacturing Zone, to deliver the project.
Bell Bay is part of over $500 million in federal funding for hydrogen hubs in regional centres like Kwinana, the Pilbara, Gladstone, Townsville, Port Bonython and the Hunter that are expected to create new industries and regional job opportunities.