Local company wins $48m grant for Townsville hydrogen plant

The government has awarded a $48 million grant to Australian renewable energy development and investment company Edify Energy to build a production plant in a major north Queensland hydrogen hub.

John Cole

Hydrogen hubs are designed to co-locate producers, users and potential exporters of hydrogen across industrial, transport, export and energy markets.

The Townsville Region Hydrogen Hub is one of seven being established in regional centres across Australia under the Regional Hydrogen Hubs program.

Edify says the funding, announced this week, will support the development of the facility and the creation of new industry with the support of partners including Townsville City Council.

Edify will use the grant money to build and operate a 17.6 MW green hydrogen demonstration production plant on the Lansdown Eco-Industrial Precinct.

The green hydrogen facility,  powered by a co-located solar photovoltaic and battery storage facility, will initially produce 800 tonnes of green hydrogen a year, building up to more than 150,000 tonnes of production to service both domestic and export markets from the Port of Townsville.

Construction will begin next year and finish in 2026, with initial commercial operations scheduled to start in 2027.

Export market the ‘end game’

Edify CEO John Cole described it as a “cracking project” and said it was exciting to be named as successful applicant for the funding.

“We look forward to delivering our green hydrogen production facility, initially supplying our domestic customers and thereafter export markets from the Port of Townsville at a large scale, which is the end game,” he said.

Climate and energy minister Chris Bowen described renewable hydrogen as a game changer, opening the door to green metals, green fertiliser, green power and supporting industrial decarbonisation.

The whole world needs renewable hydrogen, and regional Australia is ready to provide it.

Chris Bowen

“The whole world needs renewable hydrogen, and regional Australia is ready to provide it.

The Townsville project is receiving a total of $70 million worth of Commonwealth funding and $27 million from the German government, Mr Bowen said.

“Germany, one of the great industrial powerhouses of the world, knows they can’t make their own green hydrogen, not enough of it. They need our help,” he told a media conference.

“And what we’re announcing today is important because it’ll mean Townsville jobs, powering Australia, powering Germany and powering the world.”

Prime Minster Anthony Albanese says the global shift to clean energy and decarbonised economies provides a huge economic opportunity for North Queensland.

“With its port, expertise in exports and access to Queensland’s abundant solar resources, Townsville is ideally placed to help power the world with Australian renewable energy and create jobs in regional Australia.”

The government is putting $500 million in funding for hydrogen hubs in regional centres including Gladstone, Bell Bay, Kwinana, the Pilbara, Port Bonython and the Hunter, as well as Townsville.

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