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Green hydrogen to drive heavy transport in Queensland

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Construction of a renewable hydrogen plant which aims to fuel heavy transport in Queensland’s Western Downs is expected to start in the next six months.

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 plans for an associated refuelling network in South West Queensland in the development phase.

The Palaszczuk government will provide $28.9 million towards the cost.

Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni said the project will produce 50,000kg of renewable hydrogen each year when operational in 2023.

“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,” said de Brenni.

“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,” de Brenni said.

“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.”

IHI Engineering Australia MD Motoya Nakamura said that CS Energy is an important partner of IHI and looks forward to working closely to deliver an exciting project in the hydrogen and renewables space.

“IHI welcomes the opportunity to be involved in the initial stages of kick starting the global green hydrogen and ammonia value chain and is committed to the development of this new industry in Australia,” Nakamura said.

“IHI has been a significant contributor to the development of the energy sector in Australia over the last 50 years and looks forward to expanding our low carbon project portfolio over the 50 years to come.”

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.

The demonstration plant will form part of CS Energy’s energy hub at Kogan Creek.

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