Tasmania investigates major hydrogen projects

Tasmania is investing $2.6 million to explore the feasibility of three large-scale renewable hydrogen projects in what the government says is a first step in kick-starting the island state’s renewable hydrogen industry.

Guy Barnett

The studies, announced on Tuesday, are funded under the $50 million Tasmanian Renewable Hydrogen Industry Development Funding Program, which underpins the government’s Renewable Hydrogen Action Plan.

The studies include:

  • Origin Energy’s export scale green hydrogen and ammonia plant proposed for the Bell Bay Advanced Manufacturing Zone
  • ABEL Energy’s 100 MW green hydrogen and methanol for export project at the Bell Bay Advanced Manufacturing Zone
  • Grange Resources’ 90-100 MW renewable hydrogen project to provide process heat at its Port Latta facility

Fortescue Metals Group is also targeting a 2021 investment decision on its planned 250MW hydrogen and green ammonia production facility at Bell Bay.

“It’s more confirmation of Tasmania’s competitive advantages in renewable hydrogen production, based on our low-cost, abundant and reliable renewable energy resources, our access to plentiful fresh water and our prime ‘hydrogen hub’ locations,” energy minister Guy Barnett said in a statement.

Last week’s state budget also locks in $16 million for the Tasmanian Renewable Hydrogen Development Fund.

Mr Barnett says while the government isn’t progressing smaller projects from the current round it remains committed to supporting renewable hydrogen projects of any scale.

State growth minister Michael Ferguson said the government will fast track work to identify domestic hydrogen opportunities in areas such as transport, commercial applications and agriculture.

“In doing so, we will work closely with business and industry to ensure all opportunities are explored,” he said.

Metro Tasmania will also trial zero emissions buses trials slated to take place within the next two years, joining Victoria which earlier this week announced a $20 million investment in clean energy buses.

“We are very keen to explore this particular opportunity in respect of hydrogen as a fuel source,” Mr Ferguson said.

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