Renewable hydrogen vision for heavy-haulage transport sector

By Melissa Coade

July 14, 2022

queensland-hydrogen refuelling network
A hydrogen fuelling station has been installed at the Port of Brisbane service station. (EPW Queensland)

The addition of a hydrogen fuelling station at the busy Port of Brisbane service station will serve as a critical link in the vision for an east coast ‘hydrogen superhighway’.

It is expected that once installed, the state-of-the-art refuelling stop will be capable of filling a compatible car in less than five minutes. 

The facility will draw green hydrogen from a solar-powered 220-kilowatt (kW) electrolyser powered, which will be generated by a solar array at BOC’s Bulwer Island facility.

In a statement, Queensland energy, renewables and hydrogen minister Mick de Brenni said the works at the public BP truck stop showed the state was leading the race to transform heavy-haulage transport in Australia.

“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,” de Brenni said. 

Five hydrogen-powered vehicles are being trialed by government fleet manager QFleet. They will be the first vehicles to utilise the refuelling station when it opens in the next few months.

Hydrogen champion and MP Kim Richards said the installation was part of a commitment to make Queensland a ‘global hydrogen superpower’. She said the new refuelling station in the Port of Brisbane was another way of securing domestic fuel supplies by alternative heavy vehicles into the 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,” Richards said. 

The government estimates an extra 48,000 new jobs will be needed to keep up with ‘pace and scale’ of the hydrogen superhighway development, which will stretch along a route from Horsham in Victoria to Cairns in Queensland.

“Securing Australia’s sovereign energy independence involves reducing our reliance on imported fuel to power our transport sector,” de Brenni said.

“It’s critical we work with industry players like [gas company] BOC, BP and the fuels sector to reduce our reliance on imports.”

On BP’s part, the energy company argues that helping more customers decarbonise will help it achieve its net-zero-by-2050 strategy. Tanya Ghosn, BP’s Australia and New Zealand Dealer and Electrification, said the company could not help the world reach a net zero by 2050 or sooner alone. 

“We are proud to partner with the Queensland Government and BOC on this nation-leading initiative,” she said. 

BOC south pacific managing director John Evans added the company was proud to show how state-of-the-art hydrogen refuelling stations could be integrated into the existing service station network. The safety of this integration was also something BOC wanted to demonstrate.

“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,” he said.


READ MORE:

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