Works start on hydrogen service station

February 26, 2024 BY

The New Energies Service Station will be the first in Australia to offer commercial-scale hydrogen refuelling for heavy fuel cell electric vehicles. Photo: SUPPLIED

WORKS have begun on the country’s first commercial-scale hydrogen refuelling station in Geelong.

Viva Energy Australia’s New Energies Service Station, set for completion in late 2024, will be the first in Australia that is open to the public, offering commercial-scale hydrogen refuelling for heavy fuel cell electric vehicles and electric vehicle recharging.

Company spokesperson Michael Cave said the station integrates hydrogen production, storage, and refuelling within a single facility.

“At the heart of its operation is the electrolysis process which splits water into hydrogen and oxygen,” Mr Cave said.

The hydrogen is then compressed and stored in high-pressure tanks, ready for use.

Vehicles can refuel by connecting to dispensers that transfer hydrogen at pressures suitable for heavy vehicles.

The station will support up to 15 hydrogen-powered heavy vehicles and features a 2.5MW proton exchange membrane electrolyser, capable of producing around 1,000kg of gaseous hydrogen daily using renewable electricity and recycled water.

“The renewable energy to power it will be taken from the wind farms in western Victoria and recycled water from Barwon Water’s Northern Water Plant will run through the electrolyser,” Mr Cave said.

“It’s a project the people of Geelong should be pretty excited about.”

The project combines hydrogen production, storage, and refuelling operations at a single location, streamlining the supply chain and enhancing efficiency. This approach, coupled with early commitments from foundational partners such as Toll Group, ComfortDelGro Corporation Australia, Cleanaway, and Barwon Water, strategically addresses the challenge of synchronising hydrogen supply with demand.

The project is backed by $22.8 million from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and $1 million from the Victorian Government’s Renewable Hydrogen Commercialisation Pathways Fund.

Viva Energy hopes to spark the development of a network of hydrogen refuelling stations stretching from Melbourne to Sydney and Brisbane.