Australian government allocates $70mn for Townsville’s renewable hydrogen hub

The Australian Government has announced a substantial investment of up to $70mn for the development of the Townsville Region Hydrogen Hub in North Queensland. In accordance with the government’s pre-election commitment, this funding aims to catalyze the establishment of a hydrogen hub in the region, thereby promoting job creation and the advancement of sustainable energy solutions, as outlined in a recent media release.

The project will be supervised by Edify Energy, which plans to collaborate with Siemens Energy, Queensland TAFE, James Cook University, and Townsville Enterprise Limited. The consortium’s goal is to develop a comprehensive infrastructure for renewable hydrogen production.

The hub’s initial operational phase is projected to produce 800 tonnes of green hydrogen annually, sufficient to power more than 40 heavy-duty vehicles. As the project advances, production capacity is expected to scale up significantly, with plans to produce around 3,000 tonnes for domestic needs and over 150,000 tonnes for export markets.

Edify Energy, the project’s driving force, will not only focus on generating green hydrogen for local industries and zero-emission transportation but also intends to establish a 17.6 MW domestic production facility, incorporating renewable energy generation and battery storage.

The construction phase of the project promises to offer a minimum of 200 direct employment opportunities to the local community, encompassing a range of professional roles. Moreover, the operational phase of the hub will create a series of technical and engineering positions. Construction is slated to begin in the forthcoming year, with the hub’s completion expected by 2026 and the commencement of commercial operations anticipated in 2027.

The project, boasting a total investment surpassing $137mn, receives substantial backing from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), contributing $20.7mn. Additional funding is provided by industry stakeholders and the German Government.

The Townsville Region Hydrogen Hub is an integral component of a broader initiative, with the Commonwealth allocating over $500mn for the development of hydrogen hubs in regional areas such as Gladstone, Bell Bay, Kwinana, the Pilbara, Port Bonython, and the Hunter.

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