Tasmania’s Bell Bay to become hub for $70M hydrogen initiative

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Image credit: malp/stock.adobe.com

The Australian Government has committed to a $70 million investment in developing the Bell Bay hydrogen hub in Northern Tasmania.

This strategic initiative aims to not only create regional job opportunities but also propel Australia towards a greener and more sustainable future, the government said in a media release.

The project is set to generate approximately 740 jobs in various sectors, including management and maintenance roles for engineers and technicians.

Additionally, the construction of the hub will provide valuable employment for local skilled trades such as concreters, plumbers, fitters, and electricians.

The initiative aligns with the government’s commitment to fostering economic growth while simultaneously advancing environmentally friendly practices.

The Bell Bay hydrogen hub is strategically located, benefiting from a deep-water port and being powered by Tasmania’s 100% renewables-based electricity grid.

This positioning makes it an ideal centre for renewable hydrogen production, according to the government.

Once operational, the hub is expected to produce a substantial 45,000 tonnes of renewable hydrogen annually, an amount sufficient to fuel over 2,200 heavy vehicles for an entire year.

The scale of this venture underscores the government’s commitment to expanding the role of hydrogen in the nation’s energy landscape.

With a total investment exceeding $300 million, including contributions from the Commonwealth and Tasmanian Government and the private sector, this project is poised to significantly impact the region’s economic development and environmental sustainability.

Importantly, the construction is set to commence this year, with completion anticipated by early 2028.

Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen emphasised the vital role renewable hydrogen production plays in positioning Australia as a green energy exporter and a leader in green manufacturing.

He stated, “Investing in an Australian renewable hydrogen industry is investing in Australia’s future to become a renewable energy superpower.”

Tasmanian Minister for Energy and Renewables Nick Duigan expressed his optimism, stating that the Bell Bay hub represents a substantial leap towards establishing a major new industry.

“Northern Tasmania is set to be the new home of renewable energy generation, using projects like this to attract huge investments in renewable hydrogen for use in Australia and supply to the world,” Minister Duigan said.

The Tasmanian Government, leading a consortium of partners including TasPorts, TasNetworks, TasWater, TasIrrigation, and the Bell Bay Advanced Manufacturing Zone, will work hand in hand with this project.

Bell Bay is part of a larger initiative, with over $500 million in Commonwealth funding allocated for hydrogen hubs in regional centres such as Kwinana, the Pilbara, Gladstone, Townsville, Port Bonython, and the Hunter.