A $3.1m project to produce renewable hydrogen in Queensland, Australia’s capital city Brisbane has today been unveiled by gas end engineering company BOC.
The first-of-its-kind project in Queensland will see a 220kw electrolyser and a 100kw solar array installed at BOC’s Bulwer Island site, producing up to 2,400kg of renewable hydrogen via electrolysis per month.
A state-of-the-art hydrogen refuelling station will also be installed, with capacity to refuel hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in under three minutes.
The project is expected to be completed by mid-2020.
John Evans, Managing Director BOC South Pacific said the project will leverage BOC’s existing infrastructure and expertise across the entire hydrogen supply chain, and support the introduction of hydrogen as a zero emissions fuel in Queensland and Australia.
“BOC is proud to be establishing a local supply of renewable hydrogen in Queensland that can be easily scalable and replicated across the country. We will also demonstrate our leading refueller technology that has been widely adopted across Europe and the US,” Evans said.
“The renewable hydrogen we produce will provide added environmental value to our industrial customers and facilitate the introduction of HFCEVs in Queensland, while supporting our own production processes at Bulwer Island.”
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is contributing $950,000 in funding towards the project, which is also supported by the Australian Government.
ARENA’s CEO Darren Miller said the project would help to encourage other companies to enter the hydrogen market: “BOC’s project is a great example of leveraging current industrial gas equipment and infrastructure and will also trial renewable hydrogen in refuelling.”
“Producing hydrogen on site will reduce shipping costs, while being able to help grow the local Brisbane fuel cell vehicle market and also meet demand from local industry.”
“Hydrogen is a huge opportunity for Australia, both in our domestic economy and internationally as an emission-free energy source, but it is still in its early stages.”
“In Australia, hydrogen has applications across transport, heavy industry, and as energy storage injected into our existing gas networks. Internationally, we are well placed to become a leading exporter of hydrogen.”
National Hydrogen Strategy
By some estimates, global annual demand for hydrogen as an energy source is expected to grow from around one million tonnes at the present day, to around 35 million tonnes by 2040.
The development of large-scale hydrogen production, storage and export facilities could deliver economic benefits to Australian businesses and communities and provide reliable, affordable and low emissions energy to overseas trading partners.
In December 2018, the COAG Energy Council, led by the Australian Government, commissioned officials and the Chief Scientist to develop a comprehensive and ambitious national strategy for the development of an Australian hydrogen industry, to be delivered by the end of 2019.
The National Hydrogen Strategy will examine the use of hydrogen in exports, transport, and the gas distribution network, for industrial users and to support electricity systems.
Hydrogen technology will help lower the cost of reducing emissions, so that we can meet Australia’s global climate commitments without sending industries and jobs offshore.
Today’s announcement builds on the more than $100m the government has already invested in hydrogen projects around Australia.