The federal government has officially announced $7 million in support for the Hycel Technology Hub at Deakin University’s Warrnambool Hub, which it says would help support the national economic goal of ‘H2 under $2’.
The Hycel research and training facility is expected to be complete in December 2022.
It would be one of the first regional hydrogen hubs, according to Deakin University, and would specialise in “developing, testing, training, demonstrating, and manufacturing hydrogen fuel technology.” Its focus is on hydrogen use rather than production.
The site would drive, “market readiness in transport and gas industries, Hycel’s hydrogen technologies support Australia’s economic goal of ‘H2 under $2’,” said federal education minister Dan Tehan
“On a local level, it is estimated that the Hub will create 210 full-time regional and sector jobs – including jobs in fuel cell manufacturing and pilots – across the region over the next ten years.”
Tehan and Vice-Chancellor Professor Iain Martin made the official announcement on Thursday at the campus.
“The Hub will feature Australia’s first large fuel cell manufacturing line, which will also test fuel cells for heavy vehicles and industry,” said Martin.
“The facility will also allow testing of existing fuel cells right here in Victoria rather than sending them overseas to Canada or Germany. This will save both energy and time – we anticipate that testing in Victoria will cut waiting periods by two to three years.
“Importantly, the Hub will also support training, education and social licence programs to ready the Australian workforce for the hydrogen jobs of the future.”
The $7 million in federal funding would come from the Strategic University Reform Fund (SURF.)
According to a statement from Deakin last month, total funding for Hycel is $9 million from Victorian government, $9 million in Commonwealth funding ($2 million in establishment funding in 2019), $2 million from Deakin, and in-kind contributions from industry partners PACCAR Kenworth, Future Fuels CRC and Warrnambool Bus Lines worth $3.7 million.
Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto
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