PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The Queensland government on Tuesday announced that it would provide A$28.9-million in funding towards a renewable hydrogen demonstration plant and refuelling facilities on the Western Downs as part of its plan for economic recovery that will support the state’s ambitions to become a hydrogen and renewables superpower.
Construction of a renewable hydrogen plant, expected to fuel heavy transport in Queensland’s Western Downs, is expected to start in the next six months, creating more jobs and more industry for Queenslanders.
Publicly owned CS Energy has appointed IHI Engineering Australia, a subsidiary of IHI Corporation Japan, to construct the Kogan renewable hydrogen demonstration plant near Chinchilla, with work to start on site in six months.
CS Energy’s plans for an associated refuelling network in South West Queensland are in the development phase.
Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni said the government would provide A$28.9-million towards the project from the government’s A$2-billion Queensland Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Jobs Fund.
“The Kogan renewable hydrogen demonstration project will produce 50 000 kg/y of renewable hydrogen when operational in 2023,” De Brenni said.
“It is one of the most advanced renewable hydrogen projects in Queensland, with CS Energy’s recently announced collaboration with Japan’s Sojitz Corporation to export hydrogen to Palau, as well as strong interest from potential offtakers in the domestic heavy transport and haulage sector.
“Queensland has a unique competitive advantage in the production of renewable hydrogen, with our proximity to Asia, established infrastructure, manufacturing capabilities and renewable energy generation.”
De Brenni said the innovative project was expected to create 20 jobs during construction and would support local businesses and jobs.
“This project highlights the significant value of Queensland’s publicly owned power stations in the diversification of our State’s future energy portfolio. The demonstration plant’s hydrogen electrolyser will only be powered by behind-the-meter solar energy, making it one of the few truly renewable hydrogen projects in Australia.
“A range of businesses will be used to deliver this project, ranging from local contractors for some on-site works and services, to international suppliers of specialised equipment. It’s great to hear that IHI Engineering Australia has already been in discussions with regional companies identified through CS Energy’s skills mapping partnership Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise.”
CS Energy CEO Andrew Bills said IHI had proven expertise in renewable hydrogen and he looked forward to working with them again following their joint feasibility study into the Kogan project in 2021.
“This demonstration project will provide CS Energy with valuable expertise and learnings so that we can establish a footprint in the renewable hydrogen sector and prepare for upscaling to commercial scale,” Bills said.
“As Australia’s energy sector transforms, it’s really important that CS Energy diversifies our revenue streams so that we create a sustainable future for the business.”
The demonstration project includes the co-location of a solar farm, battery, hydrogen electrolyser, hydrogen fuel cell, hydrogen storage and out-loading facility. It will be built next to CS Energy’s Kogan Creek power station, but will only be powered by renewable energy from the solar farm.
Construction is expected to begin in September 2022 once all relevant development approvals have been finalised.
CS Energy will operate and maintain the plant once it is completed.
The demonstration plant will form part of CS Energy’s energy hub at Kogan Creek.