Australian Clean Hydrogen Industrial Hubs Program (New Project added November 2021)

November 4th, 2021

Australian Clean Hydrogen Industrial Hubs Program

The Australian Government is investing AUD$464 million in support of the development of up to seven clean hydrogen industrial hubs in regional Australia, as well as design and development studies.

Main proponents:

Australian Government

 

Main end-use classification:

Export potential, domestic use

Status:

National funding program – funding available for feasibility studies and project roll-outs

Estimated cost:

 

Other involvement:

 

Production details:

To be evaluated as part of feasibility and other studies

Location:

Canberra, Australia

Funding program value:

AUD$464 million – Clean Hydrogen Industrial Hubs Program

Project description

This funding program, while not a ‘project’ per se, is included in HyResource to take account of its significant size and potential to support several hydrogen hub locations progressing to the next stages of the project life cycle.

Australia’s National Hydrogen Strategy was released in November 2019. The Strategy describes an adaptive approach to industry development (being ready to move quickly to scale up as signs of large-scale markets emerge) using a ‘review-revise-adapt’ feedback loop that would support and refine actions as technology and markets change.

A key element of the approach is the creation of hydrogen hubs – clusters of large-scale demand. The Strategy notes:

“These may be at ports, in cities, or in regional or remote areas, and will provide the industry with its springboard to scale. Hubs will make the development of infrastructure more cost-effective, promote efficiencies from economies of scale, foster innovation, and promote synergies from sector coupling. These will be complemented and enhanced by other early steps to use hydrogen in transport, industry and gas distribution networks, and integrate hydrogen technologies into our electricity systems in a way that enhances reliability.”

Through a series of measures, the Australian Government has allocated AUD$464 million to support the rollout of clean hydrogen industrial hubs across seven priority regional sites. The measures included:

  • In September 2020, AUD$54 million (of an announced AUD$70 million package) was directed to the creation of a regional hydrogen export hub
  • In April 2021, additional funding was announced, comprising AUD$20 million for hydrogen hub feasibility studies and AUD$240 million to support up to four additional regional hydrogen hubs
  • In September 2021, the funding allocated to developing clean hydrogen industrial hubs was boosted by an additional AUD$150 million, expanding the remit of the program to AUD$464 million. This will support the development of up to seven hubs in regional Australia, as well as design and development studies.

The Australian Government has identified a number of locations as prospective hub locations, based on interest of industry and the location’s existing capability, infrastructure and resources: .

  • Bell Bay (Tasmania)
  • Darwin (Northern Territory)
  • Eyre Peninsula (South Australia)
  • Gladstone (Queensland)
  • Latrobe Valley (Victoria)
  • Hunter Valley (New South Wales)
  • Pilbara (Western Australia)

Although these locations are considered the most advanced, applications for the Hub Implementation Round 1 Grants are not restricted to these locations and applicants are able to define the ‘region’ to which their application relates.

The Activating a Regional Hydrogen Industry: Clean Hydrogen Industrial Hubs grant rounds will be conducted through stand-alone, open competitive selection processes.

In September 2021, Program guidelines for two grant programs to progress feasibility and design studies as well as the rollout of projects were made available (with the programs launched on 20 September 2021 and applications due 22 November 2021).

 

This description was reviewed by the proponent in November 2021