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Australian Gas Networks (AGN) has announced it will build a $4.2 million hydrogen plant in Gladstone, in Queensland’s central coast. 

AGN is part of the Australian Gas Infrastructure Group (AGIG), and now sees hydrogen projects being developed across four Australian States. 

The Gladstone plant will be Australia’s first renewable hydrogen production facility able to deliver up to 10 per cent blended hydrogen across the city’s total 770 residential, small commercial and industrial customer base. 

The project – part of AGIG’s push to use zero-carbon hydrogen initiatives to decarbonise its operations – is supported by A$1.78 million in grant funding from the Queensland Government’s $15 million Hydrogen Industry Development Fund (HIDF). 

The entry of hydrogen as another local energy arm in the state is aimed to generate new jobs, education, workplace training and regional economic growth opportunities. 

It is anticipated that plant construction will commence in November 2020, with commissioning by October 2021 and with the plant becoming fully operational in December 2021. 

Australian Gas Network’s Chief Executive Officer, Ben Wilson, said, “Australian Gas Networks, part of Australian Gas Infrastructure Group, is proud to partner with the Queensland Government on this ground breaking project. 

“Gladstone will become the first entire city in Australia to be on a blend of natural gas and hydrogen. 

“The project supports Gladstone’s vision to be a key hub for Queensland’s domestic and hydrogen export industry, just as it is for natural gas today.”

Mr Wilson said Queensland has the potential to be a renewable hydrogen superpower, with jobs and economic growth from supplying clean energy to regional and eventual metropolitan wide markets. 

“The Gladstone plant can deliver a citywide proof-of-concept to enable implementation of blended hydrogen gas across regional cities in Australia,” Mr Wilson said.

“Domestically, zero-carbon hydrogen offers a pathway to zero emissions from our gas networks and also for transport, in particular, heavy haulage. AGIG is a leading player in this transition with hydrogen projects now underway in four Australian states, including SA, Victoria and Western Australia.” 

The Queensland Government has set a target of 2030 to be an Australian leader in renewable hydrogen production.

Hydrogen Park Gladstone (HyP Gladstone), planned for a location on Derby Street, will produce about 20kg of hydrogen per day using certified green power from the local power grid, to be then blended into the gas network. 

The plant will prove a hub for world-leading technology, with significant learning and training opportunities in the emerging national hydrogen industry for Central Queensland University students. 

The facility will include a 175kW Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) electrolyser, water demineralisation system and process cooling equipment. 

As the facility is of modular design, it can be readily scaled-up in the future to produce volumes beyond Gladstone’s needs, for potential wider domestic and even export markets.

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