Renewable Hydrogen Production and Refuelling Project

May 3rd, 2023

Renewable Hydrogen Production and Refuelling Project

This project will supply renewable hydrogen to BOC’s existing customer base in Queensland as well as supplying a hydrogen refuelling station hosted in Brisbane. Phase 1 of this mobility trial is for the refuelling of QFleet vehicles with further vehicles and 350-bar trucks and buses to be added in Phase 2.

Main proponents:

BOC Limited

Main end-use classification:

Hydrogen industrial gas and mobility

Status:

Operating – the hydrogen production facilities were operational during 2022 with BOC supplying hydrogen to the market; the hydrogen station refuelling facilities are fuelling passenger vehicles as of May 2023. A formal launch of the hydrogen refuelling facilities is planned.

Estimated cost:

AUD$5.54 million

Other involvement:

 

Production details:

Hydrogen production – Up to 2,400 kilograms per month capacity

Location:

Queensland, Australia

Announced funding:

AUD$1,111,700 – Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA)

AUD$3.2 million – BOC

AUD$230,000 – Other sources

Project description

The purpose of the project is to demonstrate renewable hydrogen production and support the commercialisation of hydrogen for vehicle transport.

Construction on the project was delayed as a result of COVID-19 and the full range of both the production and refuelling facilities became operational in the second quarter of 2023.

BOC produced hydrogen at its Altona facility in Melbourne, Victoria, by means of steam methane reforming (SMR) using natural gas as feedstock into the process.  With the closure in 2015 of the BP oil refinery (102,000 barrels-per-day capacity) at Bulwer Island in Brisbane, Queensland, BOC has been transporting hydrogen from Altona to Bulwer Island in high-pressure road tube trailers to supply its Queensland industrial gas customers. The transport of the hydrogen from Victoria to Queensland results in approximately 90,000 kilograms of CO2 emissions.

To reduce road transport costs and risks and CO2 emissions, BOC constructed renewable hydrogen production facilities at Bulwer Island.

BOC installed a 220-kilowatt (kW) Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) electrolyser supplied by UK-based company ITM Power. The electrolyser is powered by a 100kW solar array. The electrolyser has capacity to produce up to 2,400 kilograms (kg) of hydrogen per month.

The produced hydrogen will supply BOC’s existing customer base in Queensland (this aspect of the project became operational during 2022) as well as providing up to 50kg of hydrogen per day for a hydrogen refuelling station hosted in Brisbane (this aspect of the project was operational as of May 2023; bp Australia formally announced the opening of the bp Lytton site in August 2023).

In July 2022, it was announced that a hydrogen refuelling station would be constructed at the bp truck stop at the Port of Brisbane with the hydrogen supplied from BOCs Bulwer Island facilities. The refuelling station will be upgraded to support heavy transport (trucks) as part of the East Coast hydrogen highway. The Queensland Government is trialling five Hyundai NEXO hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicles (HFCEV) in its fleet. This facility will be open to other organisations using HFCEV’s.

In April 2023, ARENA announced release of the project report BOC Hydrogen Refuelling Guide. This report highlights the key considerations when building hydrogen refuelling stations.

Milestones

August 2019: BOC announces the commencement of a renewable hydrogen project at its Bulwer Island location in Brisbane, Queensland.

August 2019: ARENA announces AUD$950,000 in funding to BOC for a renewable hydrogen production and refuelling project in Queensland.

March 2022: Hydrogen production starts at the BOC Bulwer Island facility.

July 2022: Announced that a hydrogen refuelling station would be constructed at the bp truck stop at the Port of Brisbane with the hydrogen supplied from BOCs Bulwer Island facilities.

August 2023: bp Australia formally announces the opening of the bp Lytton hydrogen fuel cell vehicle refuelling site.

 

Updated: August 2023