Bundaberg Regional Council has hosted the largest Hydrogen Cluster Group Meeting to ever be held in the region, providing insights into the current hydrogen initiatives available.
The Bundaberg & Wide Bay Hydrogen Cluster is a group of local industry that come together to form a supply chain for the production of biohydrogen locally to benefit its use and application in vehicles and other industrial processes.
Biohydrogen, often called green-hydrogen is a clean and carbon-free fuel which can be produced by a process starting with the fermentation of biomass such as agricultural ‘waste’ or other feedstocks.
Utilitas CEO, Fiona Waterhouse said the recent cluster meeting, held last Friday, discussed how the repurposed Bundaberg East Wastewater Treatment plant is contributing to the development of biohydrogen as a future fuel option for the region.
“The main project we were talking about was the repurposing of the former Bundaberg East Wastewater Treatment plant into a new industrial park that is going to be using local organic waste to create biogas, which will then be turned into biohydrogen for refuelling into vehicles,” Ms Waterhouse said.
“Bundaberg is a bio-economy powerhouse, and these projects really just take the waste streams from the major organisations within the community, and then make fuel out of it.”
Fiona said the Bundaberg BioHub was continuing to improve the region’s contribution to achieving the renewable energy target, with more businesses now running from within the hub.
“There are now other tenants at the Bundaberg BioHub, so the Bundaberg Biohydrogen project is only one tenancy, but we also have a company that is going to be producing algae and other aquaculture products from the site, including products for food and fuel,” she said.
“We are going to have a data centre which will be powered with woody waste, so crop residual that is left in the paddocks will be put into a pyrolysis plant that will make electricity and heat.
“We will also be taking the wet or organic waste from our neighbours and using it to make biohydrogen.”
The benefits of using biohydrogen include the ability to reduce dependence of fossil fuels and lower greenhouse gas emissions from the energy and transportation sectors.
Bundaberg Regional Council’s Executive Director, Strategic Projects and Economic Development Ben Artup said the meeting was the largest yet, discussing key opportunities around the region.
“The meeting was attended by over 50 local businesses investigating how they could integrate hydrogen into their operations, along with technology experts outlining opportunities to produce hydrogen fuel for our region,” Mr Artup said.
The meeting was attended by Member for Bundaberg Tom Smith MP, Assistant Minister for Hydrogen Development and the 50% Renewable Energy Target by 2030, Mr Lance McCallum MP as well as staff from Gladstone Ports Corporation, Bundaberg Sugar, Wessels petroleum, Superior Pak, Bundy Bullet, and others.
The cluster meetings are held each quarter.