The Bundaberg State Development Area has been identified as the preferred site for a $300 million hydrogen hub to produce green fuel and assemble zero waste vehicles.
Set to establish a new industry in the region and create thousands of jobs, the proposal for a hydrogen production plant has been put forward by a consortium called Green Hydrogen Australia Group.
The group has already secured an agreement over 200 hectares of land at Fairymead inside the State Development Area (SDA).
The hydrogen hub, which Bundaberg Regional Council is advocating for on behalf of its proponents, would provide green energy for a wide range of industrial and vehicle uses.
The proposed project would be delivered through the consortium which is made up of the Denzo Group, H2X and Elvin Group.
Denzo Group Pty Ltd owner Ken Matthews said he had entered into an agreement with Bundaberg Sugar to develop the land for the purpose of constructing the facility.
He said the hydrogen plant would not only produce hydrogen but also assemble hydrogen-powered vehicles.
“The project will target domestic fleet vehicle end users and have a total estimated stage one construction cost of $40 million including solar arrays and a catalyser that will take local feedstock and create green hydrogen energy,” Mr Matthews said.
“Stage two would be a larger project which would involve the assembly of hydrogen vehicles on site.”
“It’s going to be very good for Bundaberg.”
Full steam ahead for hydrogen car industry
The project is supported by hydrogen fuel cell vehicle manufacturer H2X which would use the facility to import parts that would then be assembled in Bundaberg.
Mr Matthews said Bundaberg was a desirable location for a factory due to its port access and existing solar farm projects in the region.
“Bundaberg is a good location because what we want to have is access to ports all the way up the east coast,” he said.
“Bundaberg Port is a link to South East Asia and as far as the cargo wharf that we need to build, we’ve locked the land down for that.
“As we build the hydrogen hub, which is over on the Bundaberg Sugar land, that will have some permanent employees not just to build it, but these will be permanent jobs.
“We’re going to build the vehicles in Bundaberg and that’s ongoing employment, and I think it’s around 1200 jobs all up.”
“I can safely say it’s going to be a very large employment project.”
Council supports hydrogen hub
Mr Matthews said Bundaberg was selected for the hydrogen hub because of the support offered by Council, land availability for the electrolyses equipment, proximity to a future cargo wharf and access to water required for hydrogen production.
Bundaberg Region Mayor Jack Dempsey has personally advocated for the hydrogen hub to gain essential support from the State Government to secure the facility for the region.
Mayor Dempsey said it would be a catalyst for growth of the underutilised Bundaberg Port and provide jobs for local people.
“This is hugely exciting news for the Bundaberg Region with the proponent of the hydrogen hub already boasting a proven track record of delivering green projects for our region such as the $30 million Isis Solar Farm,” Mayor Dempsey said.
“Council has been working with Denzo Pty Ltd for over 12 months to support and develop its proposal for a hydrogen facility to be located within the Bundaberg SDA.
“We are fortunate to have a company like Green Hydrogen Australia Group looking at Bundaberg to build a hydrogen hub that will serve a multitude of projects, from providing jobs in the region and developing the port to producing clean energy.
“A hub like this requires a collaborative approach for this significant project to succeed, and to further build the project business case it will require significant involvement and input by the State Government.”
Mayor Dempsey has written to the Office of the Coordinator General regarding the proposed hydrogen hub requesting that, due to its significance, the OCG lead the state’s evaluation of the project.
“We also hope that many proponents in the region will be included in the State Government's recently announced $500 million Renewable Energy Zones initiative that aims to fund projects like the hydrogen hub,” he said.
“This project also aligns with Council's vision of developing as a national centre for bio fuels and manufacturing.”
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