Jemena has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Hyundai Australia and Coregas, to produce and deliver hydrogen gas to Hyundai’s Macquarie Park headquarters from early 2021.
Jemena’s Managing Director, Frank Tudor, said the deal will make hydrogen gas, generated from solar and wind power, available to the vehicle industry.
“A lack of critical refuelling infrastructure is regularly cited as a hand-brake to hydrogen vehicle sales,” Mr Tudor said.
“Our agreement with Hyundai and Coregas releases some of that pressure and is an opportunity to demonstrate that renewably generated hydrogen gas can be made directly available to the vehicle and transport sectors.
“The MOU also signals the wider community benefits of our Western Sydney Green Gas project and demonstrates the value of renewable gas to Australia’s transport industry.”
Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs) combine hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity, which runs the motor.
With a range of approximately 650km, hydrogen powered FCEVs can travel much further than pure Electric Vehicles.
As part of the deal, Coregas will provide the compressor, pipework and connectors for filling and discharging hydrogen.
Mr Tudor said hydrogen gas for transport will be generated as part of Jemena’s $15 million Western Sydney Green Gas project (which is being co-funded on a 50 per cent basis by ARENA).
In addition to supporting the hydrogen vehicle industry, the project will also produce hydrogen from solar and wind power and test how hydrogen gas can be stored and used across Jemena’s New South Wales gas network.
“We are demonstrating that electrolysers not only produce safe and green hydrogen gas to blend with natural gas for home appliances, but that they also enable hydrogen to be made available for zero-emission transportation,” Mr Tudor said.
The Hydrogen Council estimated that in 2018 there were over 330 hydrogen refuelling stations around the world, half of which were in Japan and the United States.
The Council is looking to increase that to over 3,000 refuelling stations globally by 2025, enough to provide hydrogen for about two million Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles.
In Australia, there is one permanent refuelling station, at Hyundai’s Macquarie Park showroom in Sydney.
A refuelling station is under construction in the ACT, with others planned for Melbourne and Brisbane. The largest hydrogen vehicle fleet in Australia is the 20 Hyundai NEXO SUVs, soon to be deployed by the ACT Government.
The global hydrogen vehicle industry was valued at around $650 million in 2018, and is projected to be about 60 times higher by 2026.
Jemena’s customer research found that 69 per cent of respondents would be happy to consider travelling on private and public hydrogen powered transport and that 66 per cent thought there should be as much focus on hydrogen vehicles as there is on electric/hybrid vehicles.
Coregas Executive General Manager, Alan Watkins, described the partnership with Hyundai and Jemena as a significant step forward for Australia’s hydrogen vehicle industry.
“Australia’s lack of hydrogen refilling stations and associated infrastructure is consistently cited as a barrier to the growth of a strong domestic zero-emission vehicle industry. Australia currently has just one hydrogen refuelling station,” Mr Watkins said.
“Our partnership with Hyundai and Jemena is the first step towards demonstrating that Australia has the opportunity to be a world leader in the hydrogen-powered vehicle industry.
“This is the first of many small steps needed to accelerate the use of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies for transportation in Australia. Coregas looks forward to contributing to the future of clean energy and green transportation in Australia.”
To read more about Jemena’s Western Sydney Green Gas project, click here.