The Andrews Labor Government is backing a world-first, international project to produce hydrogen in the Latrobe Valley that will create hundreds of local jobs in its first stage.
The Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC) Pilot Project will see liquefied hydrogen produced from Latrobe Valley brown coal transported to Japan for use in fuel cell electric vehicles and power generation.
The project is worth half a billion dollars across Victoria and Japan, and is being developed by a consortium of Japanese energy and infrastructure companies led by Kawasaki Heavy Industries – with the full support of the Victorian, Commonwealth and Japanese Governments.
Hydrogen has been recognised as one of the clean fuels of the future and this project will position Victoria and the Latrobe Valley as leaders of the rapidly developing hydrogen industry.
The pilot project will provide an economic boost to the Latrobe Valley and surrounds, and will test various elements of the supply chain before potentially progressing to a much larger-scale commercial operation.
The full commercial project would generate thousands of jobs in addition to providing a source of low emission hydrogen that could potentially be used in Victoria and around Australia.
The Pilot Project will be required to offset all the minimal greenhouse gasses produced by the program. Successful carbon capture and storage is a necessary condition for the HESC Pilot project to progress to full commercial scale.
The Labor Government’s support for this project is in line with its position on new brown coal projects outlined in the Statement on Future Uses of Brown Coal.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford
“Hydrogen is a fuel of the future and we want to capitalise on that right here in the Latrobe Valley.”
“We’re supporting the industries of the future to bring jobs, opportunities and economic development to regional Victoria.”
Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing
“This pilot project provides an opportunity to explore a new industry for the Valley - if viable, it may create hundreds of local jobs and a pipeline of work for many years to come.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020