Hydrogen Fuels Australia and CLARA Energy to build hydrogen network along Hume Highway

Partners will fast-track their development of up to five hydrogen refuelling stations between Melbourne and Sydney.

Hydrogen Fuels Australia (H2FA) and CLARA Energy, a developer of a large-scale green hydrogen production facility in Tarcutta NSW, have agreed to plan and build a green hydrogen distribution network along the Hume Highway corridor, worth $600 million, with the first hydrogen refuelling station scheduled to open in 2025.

CLARA Energy is already well advanced with planning to start operations by 2025 in one of the world’s largest green hydrogen production facilities in Tarcutta NSW (halfway between Melbourne and Sydney).

H2FA is currently constructing their own large-scale hydrogen refuelling station (HRS) in Truganina, in the heart of Melbourne’s largest warehousing and distribution region. Initially, H2FA’s 5-hectare site will produce 60-90 kg of green hydrogen from its own 640 kW solar array using a Green Hydrogen Systems A/S Electrolyser. Permits are in place to ramp up to a refuelling capability of up to 6,500 kg per day, making it one of the largest HRS in the world.

The two companies are collaborating on the large-scale hydrogen project in Tarcutta, NSW, whereby CLARA Energy will be developing production capacity at scale, and H2FA will act as distributor and station operator. The facilities will support freight and logistics companies transitioning from diesel to hydrogen fleets. Each diesel truck replaced with a hydrogen alternative will abate approximately 2.4 tons of CO2 on a Melbourne to Sydney return journey, demonstrating how transitioning diesel trucks to hydrogen offers a major decarbonisation opportunity for Australia.

The companies are planning to build additional green hydrogen refuelling stations in Epping and Seymour in Victoria, plus another in the Southern Highlands of NSW and a major refuelling station in Sydney. This will complete Australia’s first Hume Highway green hydrogen refuelling network.

The agreement between CLARA Energy and H2FA comes as the Victorian, NSW and Queensland governments announced a tripartite Hydrogen Highway strategy to create hydrogen refuelling stations along the main arterial roads along the East Coast of Australia, to facilitate a smooth transition from diesel to green hydrogen transport in the coming decades.

The CLARA Energy project located on the Hume Highway at Tarcutta in NSW will have the capacity in stage one to produce approximately 25,000 kg per day of green hydrogen at a price competitive with diesel. Stage one will provide adequate green hydrogen supply for about 200 heavy haulage trucks running between Sydney and Melbourne daily.

The project’s two subsequent stages should bring total daily production to at least 100,000 kg/day, enough green hydrogen to support 800 heavy haulage trucks and abating more than 57,000 tonnes of CO2 produced by diesel engines.

The cost of the first stage of the Tarcutta project, which includes a major solar PV installation and the use of electrolysers to convert water into hydrogen and oxygen, will be approximately $500 million.

CLARA Energy and H2FA are already in discussions with truck fleet operators regarding their plans to transition their diesel fleets to new green hydrogen powered trucks. Having new hydrogen refuelling infrastructure completed in time for their arrival is critical for Australia’s decarbonisation pledges.

Zohaib Ali

Zohaib is the editor of H2 Bulletin. Please click on the email icon to contact me if you want to talk about a news.
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