An Australian first $4.2 million gas injection facility will be built in Gladstone to deliver renewable hydrogen into the city’s gas network, thanks to the first grant from the Queensland Government’s $15 million Hydrogen Industry Development Fund.
Premier and Minister for Trade Annastacia Palaszczuk said in an Australian-first, Gladstone will become the first entire city in the nation to be on a blend of natural gas and hydrogen.
“Using renewable hydrogen, Australian Gas Networks (AGN) will trial the blended hydrogen gas with a view to converting Gladstone’s network to hydrogen in the future,” the Premier said.
“The Queensland Government is working hard to drive the hydrogen industry forward, to create highly skilled jobs, especially in regional Queensland.”
Speaking from the Gladstone Hydrogen Forum, Minister for State Development Cameron Dick said that AGN, part of the Australian Gas Infrastructure Group (AGIG) has been offered more than $1.7 million through the fund to build a blending facility to deliver 10 per cent renewable hydrogen into the gas network.
“This project will be the first in Australia to blend renewable hydrogen into a gas network with residential, commercial and industrial customers,” Mr Dick said.
AGN’s chief executive officer Ben Wilson said AGIG is proud to partner with the Queensland Government on this ground-breaking project.
“This 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,” Mr Wilson said.
“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 Asia and elsewhere.
“Domestically, zero-carbon hydrogen offers a pathway to zero emissions from our gas networks and for transport, particularly heavy haulage. AGIG is a leading player in this transition with hydrogen projects now underway in four Australian states.”
Gladstone Mayor Matt Burnett said AGN had formed a partnership with Central Queensland University (CQU) providing access to the blending facility for CQU staff and students to build skills in hydrogen technologies.
“I am pleased that CQU will be partnering with AGN to create educational, training and research opportunities for local workers,” Cr Burnett said.
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“This is about creating more jobs in more industries, and Gladstone is perfectly placed to tap into the exciting renewable hydrogen industry.”
Vice-Chancellor and president Professor Nick Klomp said CQU was excited to be part of a project that signalled a very positive early step towards Gladstone’s emerging hydrogen fuel industry.
“CQU is working towards establishing a hydrogen park in Gladstone to drive the many opportunities that this emerging hydrogen industry will create,” Professor Klomp said.
“We look forward to working with a range of community groups, industry and government bodies to ensure CQU plays an important role in this project.”
Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher said renewable hydrogen represented enormous opportunity for Gladstone and Queensland.
“It’s great to see such a high level of interest from local industry, and some great outcomes from the Hydrogen Industry Development Fund to support our jobs in our region,” he said.
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Mr Dick said over 100 stakeholders had attended today’s forum in Gladstone, with previous events held in Townsville and Brisbane.
“Hydrogen produced from renewable energy is widely considered to be the ultimate, clean renewable fuel and at today’s industry forum regional stakeholders heard about the opportunities emerging for the industry in Gladstone and Central Queensland,” Mr Dick said.
“Along with the AGN project, Gladstone has also been selected as the location for The Hydrogen Utility’s (H2U) latest project, H2-Hub Gladstone, a proposed $1.61 billion industrial complex for the large-scale production of green hydrogen and ammonia.
“I can also announce today that Economic Development Queensland (EDQ) has approved a variation to ACCIONA’s Aldoga Solar Farm lease, to allow them to investigate renewable hydrogen production as part of the project. The variation allows an additional 24 months to explore feasibility.
“Since the release last year of the Queensland Hydrogen Industry Strategy 2019–24, we are seeing increased private sector investment and will continue to position Queensland to be at the forefront of renewable hydrogen production in Australia by 2030.”
CEO of the Australian Hydrogen Council Fiona Simon said, “On behalf of the Australian Hydrogen Council, I commend the Queensland Government for their ambition to be a hydrogen powerhouse and make Gladstone a focal point for Australia’s hydrogen export industry, creating jobs and economic growth.
“This is another great achievement for Australian Gas Networks (AGN) who are working hard to blend renewable hydrogen into gas networks.
“We look forward to continued collaboration with state and federal Government to establish the policy, processes and market mechanisms necessary to scale up Australia’s hydrogen sector.”