Brisbane startup aims to have green hydrogen plant in Bell Bay Tasmania producing by January


A new player has seemingly entered Australia’s green hydrogen game, Brisbane-based Line Hydrogen. On Saturday, the company announced its partnership with Victoria-based Climate Capital, saying it plans to source the electricity for its plant from Climate Capital’s planned 5MW ground-mounted solar farm in George Town, which neighbours Bell Bay, just north of Launceston. 

While both the solar farm and the hydrogen plant are still in the planning stages, Line Hydrogen says it expects to break ground on the project by mid-year and is targeting first production on January 31, 2023.

The $100 million project is seeking to produce 1,500 kilograms of green hydrogen daily and is targeting heavy haulage and mining industries for offtake.

Line Hydrogen founder and chairman Brendan James estimates Australians consume around 84 million litres of diesel daily, with the company noting that transitioning diesel-reliant industries will be its primary market focus. James is a metallurgical engineer and co-founded the company with what is presumably his wife, Nicole James (though their relationship is unconfirmed).

The company plans to list on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) this year, and is also planning a project double the size of the Bell Bay plant for southern Queensland’s Toowoomba, Line Hydrogen told The Australian over the weekend.

It wants the $200 million Toowoomba plant to be ready by March 2024 with the company targeting production of 3,000kg of green hydrogen daily. It said it has been working on this project for the last two years, since the company’s founding. 

Line Hydrogen & Climate Capital

In addition to the terms sheet agreement for the Bell Bay solar power offtake, the pair have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to “identify, develop and deliver co-located green hydrogen production plants across the country.” No further details about what this entails, nor whether Climate Capital will be a partner on the Toowoomba plant are known.

Victoria’s Climate Capital holds two solar farms in Australia in addition to Bell Bay, including the Boonanaring Solar Farm in Western Australia which is already operating and the Tregalana Solar Farm in South Australia, from which stage one is currently under construction.

The $8 million Bell Bay solar farm has secured development approval for its site and is expected to be completed within the year, shortly before the hydrogen plant.

Bell Bay

As Tasmania’s primary port, Bell Bay has been proposed for a number of hydrogen projects in the last year by some of Australia’s biggest players. Fortescue Future Industries, Woodside and Origin have signalled they will be exploring the potential of developing green hydrogen projects in the area. 

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