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Government backs next generation hydrogen powered fuel station

JMR with Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor and Assistant Minister to the Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Tim Wilson 

The Morrison Government is boosting its support for the uptake of heavy hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles by funding construction of Australia’s first public New Energies Service Station in Geelong, Victoria.

The Government, through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), is providing $22.8 million for Viva Energy to build the hydrogen cell refuelling station.

The new service station will support a range of technologies to support consumer choice, as it will also have electric vehicle battery recharging and traditional diesel refuelling infrastructure.

Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said construction of the hydrogen fuel station in Geelong next door to Viva’s refinery is part of the government’s strong commitment to reduce emissions in the transport sector through low emissions technologies.

“Viva Energy’s project is a major step to putting hydrogen-powered vehicles on the road, supporting consumer choice and reducing emissions from the heavy vehicle sector. We understand the importance of our truckies to keeping Australia moving and are supporting their technology choices for their businesses,” Minister Taylor said.

“A publicly accessible New Energies Service Station will allow drivers to experience safe and convenient hydrogen refuelling.”

“This project is a great example of our Future Fuels and Vehicles Strategy in action, adding to the $2.1 billion we have committed to accelerating the uptake of low emissions vehicles in Australia.

Assistant Minister to the Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Tim Wilson said that the Viva Energy project is a key opportunity to drive early uptake of commercially viable hydrogen electric vehicles in the transport industry.

“Freight transport is a stubborn source of Australia’s emissions that will only be cut through technology solutions which ensure that fresh food, packages and products can be delivered. Hydrogen has the potential to be that technology solution,” Assistant Minister Wilson said.

“This hydrogen fuel station will be the first of many that empower the freight sector to be part of the solution to carbon neutrality by 2050”.

Senator for Victoria Sarah Henderson welcomed Viva’s investment and said the project will generate new jobs and an engineering and trade skills program will be developed to support local industry.

“These programs will ensure Geelong residents can take part in the construction of the hydrogen fuel station,” Senator Henderson said.

“Geelong is an ideal location due to its proximity to both major arterial roads, for visibility, and nearby Barwon Water recycling plant, for production of hydrogen.”

Viva Energy’s $43.3 million project will include 15 hydrogen electric heavy vehicles, including prime movers, buses and wastewater and waste collection vehicles, to be purchased by the project’s foundation partners. This includes Toll Group, ComfortDelGro Corporation Australia, Cleanaway and Baron Water for their fleets.

The New Energies Service Station will be built opposite Viva Energy’s petroleum refinery and will include a 2MW electrolyser and a 150kW electric vehicle charging facility.

The project complements the recently opened second round of the Future Fuels Fund that focuses on supporting light and heavy vehicle low emissions fleets.

1 March 2022

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