With a six-figure cash commitment flowing for Bell Bay’s hydrogen project, one of the most widely discussed and stimulated projects in recent history has received yet another boost from the government.
In a statement, State Energy Minister Guy Barnett confirmed that the government would contribute an additional $100,000 to the “Advanced Manufacturing Zone,” which was one of the government’s election promises.
An additional $200,000 in incentives from the government and National Energy Resources Australia were added to the pot with the latest allocation of funds.
The National Energy Research Alliance (NERA) contributed $100,000 to the project as part of its seed funding program, which is aimed at assisting businesses in establishing hydrogen technology clusters.
Since the introduction of the Renewable Hydrogen Action Plan in 2019, the production of hydrogen at Bell Bay has been a priority project for the state government.
Woodside Energy, a Western Australian company, was the recipient of a Memorandum of Understanding with the state government in January, as it competed for a share of a $70 million grant from the federal government’s Renewable Energy Agency.
Timberland was unsuccessful in their bid, with two projects in Western Australia and one in Victoria being selected ahead of the lone Tasmanian project.
Confidence in Bell Bay has remained high, and Woodside sustainable energy executive vice-president Shaun Gregory has stated that the company will continue to invest in Tasmania regardless of whether or not the grants are awarded.
In its initial proposal, Woodside proposed a 10-megawatt pilot plant, which was dwarfed by a subsequent 250-megawatt facility proposed by Fortescue Future Industries after reaching an agreement with TasPorts.
Two days later, a 500-megawatt proposal from energy giant Origin was put forward, doubling the potential for Bell Bay once more.
Representatives from both Fortescue and Origin were enthusiastic about the potential of Bell Bay, believing that whatever was eventually built there would be world-class in every way, including in terms of technology.
Prior to the Fortescue and Origin pitches, the federal government announced it would release a budget that included $275.5 million to spur the development of four regional hydrogen hubs.