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Federal government announces $70 million for Bell Bay through Regional Hydrogen Hubs program

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The federal government has announced that it will spend $70 million towards development of Tasmania’s Bell Bay hydrogen hub, which will create a claimed 45,000 tonnes of renewable hydrogen a year and about 740 jobs, and be completed “by early 2028”.

According to a joint statement on Thursday morning from federal energy minister Chris Bowen and state energy minister Nick Duigan, the Tasmanian government will lead a group of partners on the project, including TasPorts, TasWater, TasIrrigation, the Bell Bay Advanced Manufacturing Zone, and TasNetworks, to deliver the project. 

The project is scheduled to begin this year and its total value was given as $300 million.

According to the federal government, Bell Bay is part of investment totalling over $500 million in regional hydrogen hubs, including at Kwinana, Townsville, and the Hunter.

“Bell Bay is a production and export powerhouse, backed by 100 [per cent] renewable electricity, and this hub will provide jobs, support new manufacturing and spur investment in regional Australia as the world decarbonises,” said Bowen.

The announcement was foreshadowed by Duigan at last month’s Bell Bay Major Project Conference, where he said the Tasmanian government was “close to finalising an agreement with the Australian Government to lock-in the $70 million from the Regional Hydrogen Hubs Program.” 

“Bell Bay is perfectly placed to be a world-class green hydrogen hub, with its established port infrastructure and highly experienced and skilled workforce,” said Duigan on Thursday.

The Tasmanian Labor opposition recently lamented the lack of progress on a hydrogen industry.

A statement last month from Tasmanian shadow energy minister Dean Winter read: “Of the five regional hydrogen hubs announced across the country, only one remains without a funding agreement: Bell Bay.”

Picture: Artist’s impression of possible design for a Tasmanian Green Hydrogen Hub (credit Woodside)

Further reading

$2 billion Hydrogen Headstart programme opens for business

Boost for Townsville green hydrogen hopes

On the starting line for green hydrogen in Tasmania

Countrywide Hydrogen selects contractors for Tasmanian projects


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