Energy infrastructure company Jemena has revealed it has signed a new deal to supply Australia’s emerging zero emission vehicle industry with renewable generated green hydrogen.

The company says it has committed, through an MOU with Hyundai Australia and Coregas, to produce and deliver hydrogen gas to Hyundai’s Macquarie Park headquarters from early 2021.

Jemena’s managing director, Frank Tudor, said the deal will make hydrogen gas, generated from solar and wind power, available to the vehicle industry.

“A lack of critical refuelling infrastructure is regularly cited as a hand-brake to hydrogen vehicle sales. Our agreement with Hyundai and Coregas releases some of that pressure and is an opportunity to demonstrate that renewably generated hydrogen gas can be made directly available to the vehicle and transport sectors,” said Mr Tudor.

“The MOU also signals the wider community benefits of our Western Sydney Green Gas project and demonstrates the value of renewable gas to Australia’s transport industry.”

Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs) produce electricity on board by way of a chemical creaction with combine hydrogen and oxygen to, which runs the motor. With a range of approximately 650 kilometres, hydrogen powered FCEVs can travel much further than pure Electric Vehicles. As part of the deal, Coregas will provide the compressor, pipework and connectors for filling and discharging hydrogen.

Mr Tudor said hydrogen gas for transport will be generated as part of Jemena’s $15 million Western Sydney Green Gas project (which is being co-funded on a 50 per cent basis by ARENA). In addition to supporting the hydrogen vehicle industry, the project will also produce hydrogen from solar and wind power and test how hydrogen gas can be stored and used across Jemena’s New South Wales gas network.

“We are demonstrating that electrolysers not only produce safe and green hydrogen gas to blend with natural gas for home appliances, but that they also enable hydrogen to be made available for zero-emission transportation,” Mr Tudor said.

In 2018 the Hydrogen Council estimated that there were more than 330 hydrogen refuelling stations around the world, half of which were in Japan and the United States. The Council is looking to increase that to more than  3,000 refuelling stations globally by 2025, enough to provide hydrogen for about two million Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles.

Currently In Australia, there is one permanent refuelling station, at Hyundai’s Macquarie Park headquarters in Sydney. Another refuelling station is under construction in the ACT, with others planned for Melbourne and Brisbane. The largest hydrogen vehicle fleet in Australia is made up of 20 Hyundai NEXO SUVs, which are soon to be deployed by the ACT Government.

The global hydrogen vehicle industry was valued at around $650 million in 2018, and is projected to be about 60 times higher by 2026.

Jemena’s own customer research  has found that 69 per cent of respondents would be happy to consider travelling on private and public hydrogen powered transport and that 66 per cent thought there should be as much focus on hydrogen vehicles as there is on electric/hybrid vehicles.

Jemena is an company that owns and manages some of Australia’s most significant gas and electricity assets, incuding   the Jemena Gas Network servicing more than 1.4 million customers around NSW 

It also  controls the Eastern Gas Pipeline which delivers gas from Victoria’s Gippsland basin to the ACT, Sydney and regional NSW, along with the the Darling Downs Pipeline Network in south-east Queensland supplying Darling Downs Power Station and APLNG’s export pipeline, the Queensland Gas Pipeline which supplies Gladstone and Rockhampton 

The company  also operates a Victorian electricity network, which delivers electricity to more than 350,000 homes and businesses in northern and western Melbourne, and a gas pipeline from Tennant Creek in Northern Territory to Mount Isa in Queensland.