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CSIRO scores $1 million for hydrogen refuelling station

Ready: Plans for the VH2 are set and ready to go with this new funding from the Victorian state government.

Vic government commits $10m to Victorian Hydrogen Hub, $1m for refuelling station

8 Feb 2021

THE Victorian Hydrogen Hub (VH2) is one step closer to fruition following the Victorian government’s $10 million commitment to the project, $1 million of which will go to the CSIRO to assist in the development of a dedicated hydrogen vehicle (FCEV) refuelling station.


Set to be built at the CSIRO’s Clayton campus, the refuelling station is said to be a “key milestone in the development of CSIRO’s national Hydrogen Industry Mission” with the project being shared with Swinburne University of Technology.


CSIRO growth executive director Nigel Warren went one step further and described the refuelling station as “a significant step” towards overcoming the lack of local FCEV refuelling infrastructure.


“As Australia considers energy alternatives, we know hydrogen is clean and will be cost-competitive – but a major barrier to it becoming a fuel source for cars and trucks is how to refuel, and the lack of refuelling infrastructure,” he said.


“We thank the Victorian government for supporting VH2 which, combined with the refueller, will allow us to test emerging hydrogen technologies.”


One of the first ports of call for the new refueller when it is complete will be a fleet trial for hydrogen-powered CSIRO vehicles – Toyota Mirais – before it goes on to supply other FCEVs in the area.


Toyota Australia future technologies manager Matt MacLeod said the brand was “delighted” to be supporting the project and echoed Mr Warren’s views of the VH2 being a significant step in the standardisation of hydrogen as a fuel source.


All-in-all, the VH2 is expected to create some 8000 jobs during its construction and operation and generate around $11 billion a year in GDP.


Swinburne University of Technology vice-chancellor Professor Pascale Quester said the University was excited by the development and described the VH2 as “another demonstration of how we can bring people and technology together to create a better world”.


“We are grateful for the Victorian government for their support,” he said.


“Swinburne’s strong partnership with CSIRO means that we will be able to build on our focus of digitalisation and Industry 4.0, and support industry to enhance its understanding of what hydrogen can deliver.”


Victorian Higher Education minister Gayle Tierney reciprocated the praise from all parties and said the State government was proud to be investing in the project as it would “help build a smarter Victoria and help respond to climate change”.


The CSIRO grant is the latest green-energy project to have secured government funding, following on from the $300m Queensland hydrogen hub project that was greenlit in September.


The Queensland project will see a facility built in Bundaberg which will allow the production of industrial amounts of hydrogen – up to 6000 tonnes per year.


Along with the Bundaberg site, another facility is currently in production in Port Kembla, NSW, which serves as the home base for local FCEV start-up H2X.


H2X is currently working on a range of prototype vehicles built in Australia for sale by the middle of the decade, including the Snowy SUV, a medium-sized van, a pick-up and a tractor.

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