Coregas, the largest Australian-owned gases company, is set to receive funding in the New South Wales (NSW) Government’s latest round of the Port Kembla Investment Fund for the development of a hydrogen refuelling station at its Port Kembla hydrogen production facility.
The refuelling station will support the introduction of zero emission hydrogen fuel cell trucks to the south coast region of Illawarra-Shoalhaven. The development will stand as one of the front-runners in the transition to hydrogen powered fleet vehicles around Australia.
The steel city of Wollongong, which has long been a hub for coal and, obviously, steel, is looking to refashion itself as the ideal location for large-scale green hydrogen production. An ambition backed by NSW Energy Minister Matt Kean who has also identified Port Kembla as a critical site for a Hydrogen Hub.
This is also the general ambition of the Federal Government too, as one of the five priorities of its Technology Investment Roadmap: First Low Emissions Technology Statement 2020, was getting low emissions steel production at under AUD$900 per tonne. Also, the $74.5 million in funding for the Australian Renewable Energy Agency for electric vehicle refuelling infrastructure can also be spent on hydrogen refuelling. And of course, none of this is to mention the nearby Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Government’s Renewable Hydrogen Refuelling Pilot set to be operational before the end of March 2021.
Steel giant BlueScope has already announced it will invest $20 million in a new BlueScope Renewable Manufacturing Zone (BRMZ) and it is at the site of the BlueScope Port Kembla Steelworks that Coregas’ refuelling facility will be located.
Transport is one of the hardest sectors to decarbonise, especially heavy-vehicles which find it difficult to run effectively on electric vehicle battery systems. Coregas is not alone in thinking hydrogen fuel cells could be the technology to help the trucking, shipping, and even aviation, decarbonise over the coming decades. According to Coregas, the refuelling station will be able to deliver 50% emissions reductions immediately to vehicles that utilise it.
“Coregas is committed to initiatives that drive innovation for cleaner energy with hydrogen a priority” said Coregas executive general manager, Alan Watkins. “This project marks an important step in our hydrogen strategy, and we appreciate the assistance of the NSW Government in supporting our vision for a hydrogen ecosystem at Port Kembla…and enabling the development of a new zero emission transport solution for the region and greater NSW.”
“We believe this project is a game changer for Australia and forms part of Coregas’ commitment to develop the Australian hydrogen sector” continued Watkins, “complementing our work on the Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain project creating a liquid hydrogen supply chain between Australia and Japan and our many years of supporting the hydrogen fuel needs of automotive companies, including Hyandai Australia.”
Coregas expects the hydrogen refuelling station to be operational by late 2021.
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