QLD welcomes country's first hydrogen fuel cell manufacturing facility

Monica Gameng   |   November 28, 2021
Springfield Central, Queensland (cr: Wikipedia)

To help boost the State’s growing hydrogen industry, the Queensland Government is backing the development of what will be Australia’s first hydrogen fuel cell manufacturing facility. 

The delivery of the $15 million facility is supported through the Palaszczuk Government’s Invested in Queensland program, which is part of the $3.34 billion Queensland Jobs Fund. 

The Queensland Jobs Fund is designed to boost the State’s industry footprint as well as create jobs and drive economic recovery from the recent pandemic. 

“This is one of the first projects to receive support through our Invested in Queensland program, and the jobs to come from this are significant. 

“Up to 200 construction jobs will be created over the next 12 months, and once fuel cell production ramps up there will be almost 170 operational jobs supported here by 2026,” Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment Cameron Dick said. 

LAVO Hydrogen Technology Limited is building the new facility that will enable the company to export Queensland-made hydrogen fuel cells globally. 

These fuel cells – developed in Australia by LAVO and the University of New South Wales – are going to be utilised in the production of the world’s first hydrogen storage system for businesses and homes. 

Dubbed the LAVO HESS (Hydrogen Energy Storage System), this system is an integrated hybrid hydrogen battery used along with rooftop solar to store about 40kWh of electricity – which is enough to power an average household for two days. 

“By supporting this sort of innovation and unlocking greater private investment, we expect to create 5,000 jobs over the life of the Invested in Queensland program. 

“We welcome LAVO to Queensland, and the new generation of employment opportunities this hydrogen manufacturing facility will bring to our state,” Minister Dick said. 

web-IMG_6846[1]Source: Queensland Government

According to Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni, the announcement of the new hydrogen fuel cell manufacturing facility in Greater Springfield paves the way for the development of an “economically sustainable and competitive hydrogen industry in Queensland”. 

“With groundbreaking projects like this and the recent announcement by Fortescue Future Industries to establish one of the world’s largest hydrogen equipment manufacturing facilities in Gladstone, Queensland is on track to become a global hydrogen superpower,” Minister de Brenni said. 

Over the past two years, Trade and Investment Queensland has been working closely with LAVO to assist in early negotiations to attract the company into establishing in the State. 

LAVO is going to be manufacturing the fuel cells in Australia under a joint venture agreement with Netherlands-based fuel cells developer Nedstack. 

“Through our research and development, we are taking existing fuel cell technology and introducing integrated solutions to make hydrogen possible for everyday use and for a much wider audience. 

“We will be working to maximise the use of local suppliers in the manufacturing process and will be supplying both domestic and international markets across the residential, off-grid, telecommunications and commercial sectors. 

“The Queensland Government’s strong commitment to the development of the hydrogen industry really attracted us here. 

“Support we’ve received from Springfield City Group was also a key factor to locate our manufacturing facility to Queensland,” LAVO CEO and Executive Director Alan Yu said. 

Greater Springfield aims to produce energy that exceeds the demand under its net zero energy strategy by 2038. 

Focusing on the production of efficient and sustainable energy as well as its storage and integration locally has never been more important for Springfield City and Australia. 

“We can be an ongoing exemplar for others to follow. 

“The population of Springfield City is expected to triple to more than 130,000 over the next two decades, so there’s a responsibility to our residents both now and into the future to get this right,” Springfield City Group Chairman Maha Sinnathamby said. 

LAVO’s current focus is on building its fuel cell facility, but the company is also proposing to develop Queensland’s advanced manufacturing capabilities by 2024. This will involve assembly of more hydrogen-based powered units as well as other hydrogen components like electrolysers and hydride vessel production. 

“This is an Australian-first and could be one of the largest hydrogen fuel cell facilities in the southern hemisphere, so it’s great news for workers and our community. 

“And with LAVO planning to grow its Springfield operations once established, there’s the potential for hundreds of additional jobs to be created locally, which is really exciting,” Member for Jordan and Assistant Minister for Treasury Charis Mullen said. 

Assistant Minister for Hydrogen Development Lance McCallum said with this project, Queensland is leading the way for the growing hydrogen industry. 

“Local hydrogen development means more local jobs, and our government is proud to be leading the charge in this space,” Mr McCallum said. 

Source: Queensland Government – Media Statements; LAVO; Manufacturers’ Monthly; PV Magazine Australia 

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Monica Gameng
As Felix's Marketing Assistant since 2015, Monica is responsible for researching and sharing new and progressing projects within the construction and mining sectors in Australia. It's no surprise that Monica has her finger on the pulse of Australian major projects given she has produced more than 1,000 posts. She truly is an industry expert.
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