Queensland is getting the nation’s first hydrogen refuelling facility at a public service station.
Work started this week on the facility, located at one of Brisbane’s busiest service stations: the BP truck stop at the Port of Brisbane.
It’ll open sometime over the next few months.
The Queensland Government says it’s a critical link on the east coast’s hydrogen superhighway, and will be able to refill a hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicle in three to five minutes.
The hydrogen will be produced by a 220kW electrolyser, powered by a 100kW solar array at gas company BOC’s facility on nearby Bulwer Island – an island that was, until recently, home to a BP oil refinery.
Queensland’s government fleet manager, QFleet, is currently trialling five Hyundai Nexo crossovers, which will be the first vehicles to use the new station.
One of these vehicles has already been previewed in Queensland Police Service livery.
Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland are collaborating on a renewable hydrogen refuelling superhighway to connect the country’s eastern seaboard.
Under the Memorandum of Understanding, the three states have confirmed the renewable refuelling network will be aimed at the heavy transport industry, and will initially cover the Hume, Pacific, and Newell highways.
The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) has indicated $20 million of funding has been allocated to build this renewable hydrogen refuelling superhighway.
There are currently two publicly-available hydrogen refuelling stations in Australia. One is operated by Toyota in Altona, Victoria, the other is operated by ActewAGL in Canberra.
Up to six stations are being developed in Queensland, each of which is led by a different company.
At this stage no timelines have been communicated on when to expect this superhighway to be completed, nor is there any information about how many stations it’ll feature.
Hydrogen has been getting support on the federal level, too.
The previous Morrison Liberal Government had committed to investing further in hydrogen, and the Albanese Labor Opposition took hydrogen-related promises to the election, which it ended up winning.
As part of a $500 million Driving the Nation fund, it committed to working with States and Territories to roll out Hydrogen Highways.
Labor said it would match the $20 million committed by New South Wales and Victoria, and make up to $60 million available to other jurisdictions on a matching basis.
It said this investment could deliver 16 hydrogen refuelling stations along Australia’s busiest freight routes.
“From hydrogen-powered trucks and coaches to trains and marine vessels, we are exploring every opportunity to capitalise on the opportunities of Queensland’s energy transformation,” said Queensland’s Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen, Mick de Brenni.
“Securing Australia’s sovereign energy independence involves reducing our reliance on imported fuel to power our transport sector.”
“It’s critical we work with industry players like BOC, BP and the fuels sector to reduce our reliance on imports.”
State Member for Redlands, Kim Richards, added: “The State Government is committed to cementing Queensland’s status as a global hydrogen superpower.”
“The Queensland Government’s commitment is to capture every opportunity to secure our domestic fuel supplies by putting hydrogen fuelled heavy vehicles into our transport ecosystem.”
“Establishing a hydrogen supply chain creates opportunities right through from research and development, production, storage and distribution as well as hydrogen vehicle manufacturing, meaning skilled jobs for the future for Queenslanders.
“Development of our hydrogen industry will capitalise on our significant renewable resources, global gas production and export expertise, world-class port infrastructure, and long-standing relationships with international partners.”
“This is a significant step in building a national hydrogen refuelling network that can be scaled to support hydrogen trucks and buses in the future,” said BOC South Pacific managing director John Evans.