Delivering A Nation-First Hydrogen Research Facility

29 July 2022

Works have begun on Australia’s first fully integrated hydrogen fuel cell research and development facility at Deakin University’s Warrnambool campus, under the Andrews Labor Government’s ongoing support of fuel cell and renewable technology.

Minister for Training and Skills and Higher Education Gayle Tierney today visited Deakin’s Warrnambool campus to turn the first sod on the Hycel Technology Hub site, a cornerstone facility within Deakin’s $23m hydrogen research and innovation program.

The Hycel Technology Hub project will see the construction of one of Australia’s first regional hydrogen hubs in Warrnambool. The research facility will see the development, assembly, testing, and demonstration of fuel cells, with a focus on developing fuel cells for transport and heavy vehicles, as well as trains or boats.

The project will include the construction of a new 2200 square metre facility at the Warrnambool campus with specialised fuel cell assembly and testing equipment, a heavy vehicle integration bay, training facilities and a multi-functional space for education and demonstration activities.

Deakin will also partner with Warrnambool Bus Lines to support converting their bus fleet from diesel to hydrogen fuel cell buses, in the first public bus deployment of its kind in Australia.

Victoria’s transport sector accounts for 25 per cent of the state’s emissions, which is why the Labor Government has rolled out a Zero Emissions Vehicle Roadmap, including all new buses being zero emission by 2025 and having half of all new car sales zero emission by 2030.

The Labor Government is contributing $9 million to the project. The Hycel Technology Hub will support up to 200 jobs over the life of the project, including around 50 construction jobs and 16 in the energy sector.

The Deakin funding is part of the Labor Government’s $350 million investment in local universities through the Victorian Higher Education State Investment Fund. The fund supports universities with capital works, applied research and research infrastructure to support jobs and the state’s economic rebound from the coronavirus crisis.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney

“Deakin’s focus on fuel technology will have a direct benefit to the people of Warrnambool, and the entire state, as the Deakin campus moves from gas to hydrogen, and the Warrnambool Bus Lines fleet becomes powered by clean energy.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Energy Lily D’Ambrosio

“Renewable hydrogen is a vital new energy technology that will drive down emissions from transport and across the economy - innovation delivered by the Hycel Technology Hub will help us reduce emission by 50 per cent by 2030.”

Quote attributable to Deakin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Iain Martin

"Deakin is combining its expertise in science, technology and education to meet the needs of Australia’s emerging hydrogen industry. Our Warrnambool Campus will be a hydrogen precinct of research, innovation and training.”

Reviewed 29 July 2022

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