The bio-hydrogen industry being labelled a ‘game changer’ for the Bundaberg Region moved a step closer to becoming reality at the Bargara Cultural Centre on Friday.
Stakeholders and other interested parties gathered for the Bundaberg and Wide Bay Bio-Hydrogen Series event at Bargara to learn more about the Bundaberg Region’s emerging bio-hydrogen industry and bioHub project being developed at the former East Bundaberg Wastewater Treatment Plant.
ReCarbon and Utilitas presented at the event, highlighting local supply chain opportunities and technology advances in commercial hydrogen production, and the possible benefits for local related industries.
Bundaberg Regional Council Mayor Jack Dempsey said Bundaberg was moving closer to becoming the bio-manufacturing capital of Queensland and Australia.
“The bio-hydrogen industry is the way of the future, bringing a cleaner, greener form of energy to our region and generating additional jobs and sustainable economic growth,” Mayor Dempsey said.
“As well as showcasing the great work being done by Utilitas and ReCarbon, the event was an excellent networking opportunity for people in the bioeconomy sector.”
Fiona Waterhouse, CEO of bioenergy developer Utilitas Group, said she was pleased with the outcome of the conference.
“It was very exciting because what we saw [Friday] is the level of commitment that we have from local industry and government to enable the hydrogen industry and net zero logistics in this region, which is very important for the region,” she said.
“The Bundaberg bioHub is really taking shape and it was great to be able to showcase the opportunities available for industrial and commercial tenants.”
“We’re already talking with companies in America, Australian companies, companies in Asia that are very interested,” she said.
“And it’s interesting because we’re talking with the big original equipment manufacturers of vehicles, but also the new emerging manufacturers of vehicles.”
Philip Sohn, executive vice president of ReCarbon, said his company had moved closer to its objective of generating demand for renewable hydrogen use in the Bundaberg Region, particularly in heavy transport, thanks to the input of stakeholders at the conference.
“So (now) we’ve got some goals of how much hydrogen per day that we need the demand for, because that drives the financing and logistics of the scale of plant that we can establish,” Philip said.
“And then, ultimately working with Utilitas, to establish how much organic waste we need to be collecting and managing to make that hydrogen.”
Enio Troiani, General Manager of Bundaberg Walkers Engineering, part of the Bundaberg Sugar Group, said he had attended the event because the company was interested in further investigating bio-hydrogen as a renewable energy source.
“As part of Bundaberg Sugar, we're very interested in renewable energy and sustainable operation,” he said.
“I'm just here listening to what people are saying and seeing what we might be a part of in the future.
“We’re a big user of renewable energy already (and) I think, going forward, bio-hydrogen will be an important part of that mix.”
Leaders in hydrogen working together
Ben Artup, Council’s Executive Director Strategic Projects and Economic Development said today’s conference had been successful in presenting the benefits the bio-hydrogen industry would have for the Bundaberg Region and enabling stakeholders to work together towards a common future.
“It’s great to see Bundaberg becoming the place where leaders in hydrogen are now coming to work together and discuss plans for the industry, and the role it will play in our economic development,” he said.
“About 50 industry participants, representing local, national and international companies, attended the event and participants agreed to continue meeting to discuss opportunities, and to continue as a Council-facilitated working group and cluster strategy.”
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