The Queensland Government and Australian Gas Networks (AGN), which is part of Australian Gas Infrastructure Group (AGIG), will establish a $4.2 million hydrogen plant in Gladstone on Queensland’s central coast.
Hydrogen Park Gladstone (HyP Gladstone) will be Australia’s first renewable hydrogen production facility able to deliver up to ten per cent blended hydrogen across the city’s total 770 residential, small commercial and industrial customer base.
HyP Gladstone, planned for a location on Derby Street, will produce about 20kg of hydrogen per day using certified green power from the local power grid, to be then blended into the gas network.
The plant will prove a hub for world-leading technology, with significant learning and training opportunities in the emerging national hydrogen industry for Central Queensland University students.
The facility will include a 175kW Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) electrolyser, water demineralisation system and process cooling equipment. As the facility is of modular design, it can be readily scaled-up in the future to produce volumes beyond Gladstone’s needs, for potential wider domestic and even export markets.
The project , which is part of AGIG’s push to use zero-carbon hydrogen initiatives to decarbonise its operations, has attracted $1.78 million in grant funding from the Queensland Government’s $15 million Hydrogen Industry Development Fund (HIDF).
Gladstone is already home to Queensland and Australia’s east coast Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) production, processing and export industry. The entry of hydrogen as another local energy arm will generate new jobs, education, workplace training and regional economic growth opportunities.
It is anticipated that plant construction will commence in November 2020 and will become fully operational in December 2021.
The Queensland Government has set a target of 2030 to be an Australian leader in renewable hydrogen production.
AGN Chief Executive Officer, Ben Wilson, said, “Gladstone will become the first entire city in Australia to be on a blend of natural gas and hydrogen.
“The project supports Gladstone’s vision to be a key hub for Queensland’s domestic and hydrogen export industry, just as it is for natural gas today.
“Queensland, and Australia as a whole, has the potential to be a renewable hydrogen superpower, with jobs and economic growth from supplying clean energy to regional and eventual metropolitan wide markets. The Gladstone plant can deliver a citywide proof of concept to enable implementation of blended hydrogen gas across regional cities in Australia.
“Domestically, zero-carbon hydrogen offers a pathway to zero emissions from our gas networks and also for transport, in particular heavy haulage. AGIG is a leading player in this transition with hydrogen projects now underway in four Australian states, including South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia.”
Energy Networks Australia welcomed the Australia-first project. Energy Networks Australia Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Dillon, said the expansion of AGN’s national hydrogen push into Queensland was a key step in making Gladstone a domestic and export hub for hydrogen.
“Establishing a strong, domestic hydrogen industry is the first step to developing Australia’s hydrogen export industry,” Mr Dillon said.
“AGN is helping to deliver not only more sustainable energy but an entirely new market for clean energy jobs in Australia.
“Hydrogen offers flexible storage of renewable energy that can then be used for cooking, heating and transport. It is playing an important role as our energy system transitions and we adopt new technologies such as renewable generation to reduce emissions.”