Queensland Hydrogen Industry Strategy

The Queensland Government released the Queensland Hydrogen Industry Strategy 2019-2024 (‘Strategy) in May 2019.

The Vision is “By 2030, Queensland is at the forefront of renewable hydrogen production in Australia, supplying an established domestic market and export partners with a safe, sustainable and reliable supply of hydrogen.”

Qld hydrogen report

Five focus areas were identified to support the development of a hydrogen industry in Queensland:

  • Supporting innovation
  • Facilitating private sector investment
  • Ensuring an effective policy framework
  • Building community awareness and confidence
  • Facilitating skills development for a new technology

Queensland Hydrogen Industry Development Fund

Supporting the Strategy, the Queensland Government allocated AUD$19 million over a four-year period to support hydrogen projects in Queensland, including the AUD$15 million Queensland Hydrogen Industry Development Fund (‘Development Fund’).

Successful projects announced under Round 1 of the Development Fund:

In December 2020, the State Government announced that a further AUD$10 million over four years had been committed to funding development of the Queensland hydrogen industry (and noting this additional monies increased the Government’s industry development funding commitment to the hydrogen industry to AUD$25 million).

In March 2021, applications for Round 2 of the Development Fund opened, with two priority categories targeted (applications closed 2 June 2021):

  • Application of hydrogen technologies in the mobility sector
  • Integration of hydrogen technologies with wastewater treatment plants

As of October 2022, successful projects announced under Round 2 include:

In announcing the award to Emerald Coaches, the Queensland Government noted the Development Fund stood at a value of AUD$35 million.

Queensland Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Jobs Fund

In June 2021, the Queensland Government announced a AUD$2 billion investment into renewable energy and hydrogen through the ‘Queensland Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Jobs Fund’, as part of the Government’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan (and which increased the then existing AUD$500 million Queensland Renewable Energy Fund by AUD$1.5 billion). The Queensland Jobs Fund (‘Jobs Fund’) also includes the AUD$350 million Industry Partnership Program and programs that support investment in manufacturing, catalytic infrastructure, resource recovery and investment attraction.

The Jobs Fund aims to spur employment growth through the following avenues:

  • Support manufacturing investment in Queensland along the renewables and hydrogen supply chain (including in electrolyser manufacturing capability).
  • Support the development of projects in the hydrogen and renewable industries.
  • Through increased demand for cleaner fuels, support expansion of the Queensland resources sector, especially for those crucial minerals (such as cobalt, copper, vanadium, scandium, etc.) required to support expansion of clean energy supply.

As of October 2022, hydrogen-related Jobs Fund awards include:

Commonwealth Regional Hydrogen Hubs Program

The October 2022-2023 federal budget released on 25 October 2022 confirmed funding awards to several Queensland based projects via the Commonwealth Government’s Regional Hydrogen Hubs Program.

Hub Implementation Grants

  • Stanwell Corporation’s Central Queensland Hydrogen Hub (CQ-H2 Hub) – up to AUD$69.2 million

Hub Development and Design Grants

  • Ark Energy Han-Ho H2 Hub Feasibility Study – up to AUD$2.42 million
  • Origin Energy & ENEOS MCH Gladstone Project – up to AUD$1.25 million
  • Vena Energy Euroa Energy Project – up to AUD$3 million

In addition to the above awards through the Regional Hydrogen Hubs Program, the October 2022-23 federal budget also includes an allocation of up to AUD$71.9 million in support of the development of a hydrogen hub in Townsville, Queensland. In January 2023, the Australian Government released guidelines for the competitive Townsville Region Hydrogen Hub program.

Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan

In September 2022, the Queensland Government released its Energy and Jobs Plan which included, amongst a range of announcements, that 70% of Queensland’s energy supply would come from renewables by 2032 (and 80% by 2035). With respect to hydrogen, the Plan includes the following points:

  • An investment of AUD$15 million to plan for hydrogen hubs in key locations.
  • AUD$5 million for a program to inform Queensland communities about the opportunities of renewable hydrogen.
  • Invest in a 200 MW hydrogen-ready gas peaking facility at Kogan Creek (targeting a 2027 operations date).
  • A review of the Queensland Hydrogen Industry Strategy in 2023.
  • Preparation of legislation to support development of the hydrogen industry in the state.

Training and Skills Development

In July 2022, the Queensland’s Government launched the Hydrogen Industry Workforce Development Roadmap 2022-2032. The roadmap identifies four key focus areas and includes a list of investments in skills and training facilities of particular relevance to hydrogen:

  • AUD$20 million for upgrades to the Queensland Apprenticeships Centre, including a new Hydrogen Training Centre at Beenleigh, which was officially opened in November 2022.
  • AUD$17 million to build the Pinkenba Renewable Energy Training Facility for training in solar and other renewable energy equipment.
  • AUD$10.6 million to build a hydrogen and renewable energy training facility in Townsville.
  • AUD$2 million to upgrade facilities at Gladstone State High School to prepare students for entry into the hydrogen industry.
  • AUD$4 million for an energy training and skills strategy, consisting of electric vehicle skills fund, hydrogen skills fund and TAFE renewable energy strategy.

Partnerships and Other Initiatives

As a deliverable through the Strategy, in May 2020 the Queensland Government released the Queensland Hydrogen Investor Toolkit (‘Toolkit’) to assist investors planning to undertake hydrogen project developments in Queensland.

The Toolkit provides an overview of the planning and other regulatory approvals information in Queensland and its use is most relevant during the feasibility phase of a project, prior to final site selection and design. The Toolkit focuses on ‘renewable hydrogen’ produced from renewable energy via electrolysis, and not all sections will be relevant to all proposals. The Toolkit is regularly reviewed and updated as required.

In December 2020 (building on an earlier announcement in August 2019) the State Government announced it would undertake a three-year trial of five hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in its fleet. The vehicles became operational in August 2021.

In March 2021, the Queensland Government announced the appointment of an expert taskforce to fast track the establishment of a sustainable hydrogen supply chain and help accelerate the growth of the hydrogen industry in Queensland.

In August 2021, the Queensland Government-owned North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation (NQBP), Dalrymple Bay Infrastructure, Brookfield, and ITOCHU Corporation signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) allowing work to start on concepts to build a renewable hydrogen production, storage, and export facility at the Port of Hay Point, south of Mackay.

Also in August 2021, the Queensland Government announced AUD$1.5 million in funding support for the publicly owned generator CleanCo to undertake preliminary work to establish a future energy and hydrogen precinct at Swanbank.

In October 2021, it was announced that a hydrogen-equipment manufacturing facility is planned for Gladstone as part of a partnership between the Queensland Government and Fortescue Future Industries (FFI). The facility would be built on land developed by the Queensland Government at Aldoga within the Gladstone State Development Area. In late February 2022, FFI announced that construction on the manufacturing facility had begun. In August 2022, an earlier announcement of an award of up to AUD$44.9 million (under the Modern Manufacturing Initiatives Program) to Fortescue Future Industries Green Hydrogen Gigafactory Electrolsyer Manufacturing Facility was confirmed. 

In October 2021, the Queensland Government announced it had agreed to the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands. The agreement would see Queensland and the Port of Rotterdam collaborate on opportunities to develop a hydrogen export supply chain between Queensland hydrogen producers and Rotterdam.

In November 2021, the Queensland Government announced that it was supporting establishment (via the Invested in Queensland Program) of a AUD$15 million hydrogen fuel cell production facility at Springwood, Brisbane.

In February 2022, it was announced that Fortescue Future Industries and publicly-owned Powerlink and Economic Development Queensland (EDQ) have signed agreements to connecting sites at Gibson Island and Aldoga near Gladstone to Powerlink’s transmission network to allow renewable electricity to power proposed hydrogen projects.

In March 2022, the Governments of Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria announced an agreement to collaborate on the development of an east coast renewable hydrogen refuelling network by 2026, focusing on the freight corridor routes of the Hume Highway, the Pacific Highway and the Newell Highway. The initiative will commence with Victoria and New South Wales each providing AUD$10 million to build at least four renewable hydrogen refuelling stations between Sydney and Melbourne. The funding will also provide grants for the country’s first long-haul hydrogen fuel cell electric freight trucks. The October 2022-23 federal budget, under the Driving the Nation Fund, includes an allocation by the Commonwealth of matched funding to that already committed by New South Wales and Victoria (AUD$20 million) and makes available the same amount to other jurisdictions on a matching basis (up to AUD$60 million, for a potential total Commonwealth outlay of AUD$80 million).

In October 2022, the Queensland Government released a a state-wide study of Queensland’s renewable hydrogen production and export potential.

In February 2023, the Queensland Government announced that the AUD$983 million Fitzroy to Gladstone pipeline was officially approved for construction.  Amongst other things, the pipeline would support hydrogen projects under development with future water requirements. The pipeline is expected to be completed in late 2026.

Further information on hydrogen industry development in Queensland and contact details are available here.


Updated: March 2023