New Gladstone ferry to be hydrogen powered

Artist's impression of the hydrogen powered SeaLink ferry
Artist's impression of the hydrogen powered SeaLink ferry

Gladstone will have one of Australia’s first renewable hydrogen powered passenger ferries thanks to an $5 million injection from the Queensland Government.

Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development Steven Miles said SeaLink Marine & Tourism would be supported through the government’s $35 million Hydrogen Industry Development Fund (HIDF).

“Gladstone is set to become one of Australia’s major hydrogen hubs and hydrogen-powered transport options are one of the diverse uses emerging for hydrogen,” Miles said.

Related article: ‘Super-hybrid’ wind, hydro, hydrogen project unveiled

“The funding will allow SeaLink to design, construct and use a passenger ferry powered by hydrogen fuel cells. The vessel would operate as a shuttle between Gladstone and LNG facilities on Curtis Island. The construction of the vessel will see highly skilled jobs created for this emerging technology.”

Round two of the HIDF will see more than $20 million allocated to renewable hydrogen projects that are expected to support hundreds of highly skilled jobs.

Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni said green hydrogen was creating more decent, secure jobs in more industries across Queensland.

“Projects are being progressed across Queensland from the north to the border with New South Wales, and will keep bringing world-leading energy technology to Queensland because it creates opportunity for new jobs,” de Brenni said.

“This is the HIDF’s largest investment so far in our growing hydrogen supply chain.

“We are creating a long-term, thriving domestic hydrogen ecosystem which will give some of the world’s largest companies access to competitively priced renewable energy options here on our shores.

“This is part of the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to a clean energy future, one where innovation drives economic growth and delivers highly skilled jobs for Queenslanders.”

Related article: World’s first liquefied hydrogen carrier arrives in Victoria

SeaLink Marine & Tourism chief operating officer Donna Gauci said the company was part of Australia’s largest integrated provider of land and marine transport services committed to investing in sustainable transport solutions.

“Using our extensive experience in sustainable transport solutions, we will design and construct a world-first internationally compliant hydrogen-powered passenger ferry to join our SeaLink Gladstone fleet operating out of the Gladstone marina.

“The new hydrogen-powered ferry will be a major addition to our passenger transport in Gladstone, capable of carrying up to 200 passengers and travelling at speeds of up to 20 knots (37kph) up to a range of 50 nautical miles.”

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