Line Hydrogen is teaming up with Tasmania’s Bonney Energy to build hydrogen truck refuelling stations in the state after receiving a $5.5 million boost in the latest federal budget.
Brendan James, founder and executive chairman of Line, told The Australian Financial Review that the company now had a deal with Bonney that would see Tasmania’s first hydrogen-powered trucks on the state’s roads early next year.
According to the same report, Line is providing its own fleet of trucks by converting about 20 prime movers and 10 smaller rigid trucks to hydrogen power.
Two kinds of hydrogen-powered engines will be trialled – fuel cell and combustion conversions – and their performance will be reevaluated over the next 12 months.
James said the costs of producing hydrogen would drop as more trucks switched to hydrogen.
“We’re starting up at below diesel parity but it will continue to go lower than that as we expand,” he said.
Tasmania had big trucking fleets with “progressive” companies, making it a good place to set up new infrastructure, James said.
Line added that it expects the cost of hydrogen to be more stable than the price of diesel over the next decade.
The privately owned Brisbane-based company plans to open a plant making hydrogen via electrolysis at George Town near the port of Bell Bay in north-eastern Tasmania. It will source solar energy from Climate Capital’s Bell Bay solar farm.
Line and Bonney Energy say they will work together to develop opportunities to roll out hydrogen refuelling infrastructure utilising the existing Bonney network of service and refuelling stations in Tasmania.
“When developing our projects, we always take a whole of industry view – looking across the value chain and consider solutions by working with those in the know, and our association with Bonney Energy is important to delivering hydrogen solutions across that value chain,” said James.
Bonney Energy CEO, David Miller, said that Bonney Energy brings the history, expertise and opportunity to work with Line to develop hydrogen refuelling infrastructure in the state.
“Hydrogen will be a significant element that fuels the future of Australia’s supply chain and Bonney Energy is looking to play a key role in that transition,” said Miller.
“Bonney Energy has a long and proven history of understanding and meeting the needs of our customers, and look forward to continuing that through this opportunity.”
Originally announcing his support for Line on the campaign trail in May, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese explained “hydrogen has enormous potential, and over time Line could build at least five hydrogen refuelling stations in Tasmania, creating jobs right across the state.”