Palaszczuk Government to pump $10 million into hydrogen pipeline

hydrogen, microalgae

Queensland will remain at the forefront of renewable hydrogen with the State Government committing a further $10 million over the next four years to develop the industry in Queensland.

Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning Steven Miles said the $10 million injection increases the Government’s industry development funding commitment to the hydrogen industry to $25 million.

The commitment strongly aligns with Queensland’s Recovery Plan to rebuild the state economy after the effects of COVID-19.

“Renewable hydrogen offers the opportunity to create a new high-tech industry delivering enhanced environmental outcomes and highly skilled jobs,” Mr Miles said.

“We will use this new allocation of funding to continue working with project proponents to support renewable hydrogen projects in regional Queensland.”

Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni said the government’s first round of the $15 million Hydrogen Industry Development Fund was quickly oversubscribed when it opened last year.

“The $10 million commitment extends the support available to the emerging hydrogen industry in Queensland and is expected to lead to both construction and highly skilled operational jobs with the majority of investment interest in regional Queensland,” Mr de Brenni said.

“The next round of Queensland’s Hydrogen Industry Development Fund will open following consultation with industry set down for January 2021.

Mr de Brenni said there were four successful recipients under the first round of the Fund including projects in Townsville, Brisbane and, Gladstone, and the Scenic Rim.

“Australian Gas Networks will build a facility in Gladstone to deliver renewable hydrogen into the city’s gas network and I’m pleased to announce Spicers Retreat in the Scenic Rim will also build a renewable hydrogen plant, storage system and fuel cells at their eco camps,” he said.

Member for Mundingburra and government Hydrogen Champion Les Walker said the government’s Fund would grow jobs and skills in the north.

“In Townsville Sun Metals will build a renewable hydrogen facility and in Brisbane, the University of Queensland will replace two diesel-powered intercampus shuttle buses with hydrogen fuel cell electric buses,” he said.

In the past week there have been two globally significant announcements about hydrogen in Queensland.

On November 27, the Government announced that a partnership between Stanwell and Japanese industrial gases company Iwatani Corporation will progress planning on a renewable hydrogen export facility in Gladstone. Over eighteen months of planning has already been undertaken to confirm the opportunity for the resource to provide a versatile energy carrier that can export renewable energy from Queensland to Japan.

This announcement followed Origin Energy’s announcement on November 26, 2020 that they have a 2021 target for starting early engineering on a project in Townsville. The Townsville project, which the government has been working with Origin to progress for more than a year, involves a venture with Kawasaki Heavy Industries of Japan, involving a 300 megawatt electrolyser that is capable of producing 36,000 tonnes a year of green hydrogen for export and domestic supply.