First Australian plant to deliver hydrogen blended gas across a city

Article by Amanda Jasi

AUSTRALIAN Gas Networks (AGN), which owns distribution networks across the country, is to construct a facility in Gladstone, Queensland, Australia, which will be the first in Australia capable of delivering up to 10% blended hydrogen across the city. The project will cost A$4.2m (US$2.6m).

Hydrogen Park (HyP) Gladstone will produce 20 kg/d of hydrogen using certified “green” power from the local power grid. The hydrogen will then be blended into the gas network. The facility will include a 175 kW Polymer Electrolyte Membrane electrolyser, water demineralisation system, and process cooling equipment.

The new facility is expected to be a hub of world-leading technology. Additionally, due to the facility’s modular design, in future, it could be scaled up to produce hydrogen for a wider domestic market, or export.

The project is part of efforts by the Australian Gas Infrastructure Group (AGIG) to decarbonise its operations through zero-carbon hydrogen initiatives. AGN is part of AGIG, one of Australia’s largest gas infrastructure businesses.

The Queensland Government has provided A$1.78m of funding to the project through its A$15m Hydrogen Industry Development Fund, which was established to support hydrogen projects in the state. Queensland aims to be at the forefront of renewable hydrogen production in Australia by 2030.

Hydrogen’s entry into the energy landscape in Gladstone – already home to Queensland’s and Australia’s east coast liquified natural gas production, processing, and export industry – is expected to create job, education, workplace, training and regional economic growth opportunities.

Construction is to begin in November, with commissioning expected by October 2021, and full operationality following in December 2021.

Ben Wilson, CEO of AGN, said: “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.

“Queensland, and Australia as a whole, 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.

“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 under way in four Australian states, including [South Australia], Victoria, and Western Australia.”

Article by Amanda Jasi

Staff Reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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