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Gladstone’s electrolyser manufacturing centre tipped to supply county’s largest hydrogen projects.

Fortescue’s Green Energy Manufacturing Centre in Gladstone could potentially supply Australia’s largest hydrogen projects with electrolysers after the federal government kicked off its tender program for its $2 billion hydrogen head-start program yesterday.

Described as the largest ever funding program for renewable hydrogen and to be managed through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, the program will likely support three large green hydrogen projects in Australia and help bridge the commercial gap between the cost of producing renewable hydrogen.

Large scale Australian projects have been sidelined by the rush of capital to the US because of the Biden Administration’s generous Inflation Reduction Act and supportive policies in the EU and elsewhere.

Australia’s most forceful advocate of green hydrogen, iron ore billionaire Andrew Forrest, has warned capital will go overseas without adequate local support. His company is building an electrolyser factory in Gladstone, Queensland and this week signed a long term off-take agreement with what could be the country’s biggest solar farm for its Gibson Island hydrogen project.

Related: Two hydrogen projects, the Djandori Gung-i Superhybrid Project near Gladstone and the North Queensland Clean Energy Project near Mackay, supply chain opportunities will be presented at the Connecting Renewable Energy Conference Qld on November 16. To learn more, connect here now.

Hydrogen advocates say Australia needs to do a lot more than the $2 billion on offer in the hydrogen head-start program, but the program is considered to be a good base to work from.

The funding document says only a “small number” of projects will be supported as the program aims for size and bulk, beyond the small pilot scale projects that have been funded for date. Support will come in grants in the form of production credits, and will be payable for 10 years from 2026/27.

The minimum size will be for a 50MW electrolyser and must be for a “new” project that is sourced from 100 per cent renewable power. Initial expressions of interest are due in November, but a final decision is not expected until October, 2024.

The short, four week deadline for the EoI was welcomed by Simon Currie, from green hydrogen developer Energy Estate who is a co-developer of the Djandori Gung-i Superhybrid Project near Gladstone and the North Queensland Clean Energy Project near Mackay.

“This is the sort of momentum we need to create,” he said. “We need to be seen globally that we are going to make those electrolyser orders, and we are going to attract the major players.”

Some of this article was sourced from Renew Economy.

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