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Funding secured to start a new gas industry in Queensland

BOC South Pacific
BOC South Pacific

Queensland will be home to a new kind of gas industry after securing the necessary money to start a pilot project in the state’s southeast.

Gas welding and equipment specialist BOC recently secured federal funding for its Renewable Hydrogen Production and Refuelling Project in Pinkenba, 16km northeast of the Brisbane CBD.

Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is contributing $950,000 for BOC to install a 220 kilowatt (kW) electrolyser and 100 kW solar array the existing Bulwer Island Gas Facility. Industrial gas equipment and infrastructure already onsite will help produce 28.8 tonnes of green hydrogen through electrolysis with power drawn from the onsite solar or grid sourced renewable energy via a power purchase agreement.

The $3.1 million pilot will also require a new hydrogen refuelling station that receives 50 kg of renewable hydrogen each day.

Less need to transport

A similar project is operating at BOC’s Altona Steam Methane Reformer in Victoria and the Pinkenba project is hoped to reduce the need to transport hydrogen interstate.

“Through this project, we will deliver added environmental value to our industrial customers and facilitate the introduction of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles in Queensland while also enhancing our own production processes at Bulwer Island,” BOC South Pacific managing director John Evans said in a public statement.

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2800 jobs on the way

ARENA commissioned ACIL Allen Consulting to complete a 2018 report about opportunities for hydrogen exports. The report predicted Australia’s hydrogen export industry could be worth $1.7 billion annually to the economy and create 2800 jobs by the year 2030.

“Hydrogen is a huge opportunity for Australia, both in our domestic economy and internationally as an emission-free energy source but it is still in its early stages,” ARENA CEO Darren Miller said in a public statement. “In Australia, hydrogen has applications across transport, heavy industry, and as energy storage injected into our existing gas networks. Internationally, we are well placed to become a leading exporter of hydrogen.”

Positions will be advertised on the BOC careers website.

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