TAFE Queensland, Ark Energy sign MoU on hydrogen industry training

TAFE Queensland and the Ark Energy Corporation have signed a memorandum of understanding on training for renewables, following the company’s recent announcement that it will develop a hydrogen hub at Sun Metals’ zinc refinery in Townsville focussed on decarbonising transport.

Ark is the Australian subsidiary of Korea Zinc Co, and according to its website has a mandate “to decarbonise the energy supply of the Korea Zinc group starting with Sun Metals Corporation Pty Ltd in Townsville”.

The MoU covered training to upskill and reskill Ark Energy’s workforce and those of its affiliated companies, including Sun Metals.

CEO Daniel Kim said, “Ark Energy is proud to be one of the first movers in the hydrogen industry and partnering with the market leading provider of VET in Queensland will ensure we stay ahead of the curve,” adding that a world-class hydrogen industry requires training of the same level.

“We believe that Townsville has the potential to take a leading role in decarbonising Australia’s ultra-heavy transport sector and ultimately become a major global hub for hydrogen exports. This MoU is another important milestone for our project and also for the region in creating sustainable long-term jobs in the hydrogen industry.”

The signing on Tuesday was attended by state training minister Di Farmer. Farmer commented that the government was investing $50 million in infrastructure for training in hydrogen and renewables delivery, including a $10.6 million TAFE Hydrogen and Renewable Energy Training facility at Bohle.

“This training will ensure the safe production, handling and use of hydrogen across various applications in the energy transition and in particular ultra-heavy transport to reduce CO2 emissions,” Farmer said.

“Workforce development goes hand in hand with industry development so it’s vital our future workforce has the right training to take up new and exciting opportunities in the growing hydrogen industry, and support Queensland’s position as an industry leader.”

The SunHQ hub at Townsville is supported by a $3.02 million Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) grant and a $5 million grant from the Queensland Government.

Phase 1 of the project involves commissioning of the site, scheduled for December, with a 1 megawatt electrolyser providing green hydrogen for five 140-tonne rated hydrogen fuel cell electric trucks sourced from Hyzon Motors.

These will replace five prime movers, will operate between the refinery and the Port of Townsville (a 30 kilometre round trip) and are “expected to be the largest fuel cell trucks in the world” according to Ark’s website.

Picture: credit arkenergy.com.au/sunhq-hydrogen-hub/

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