A $5 million study is underway into a hydrogen plant at Stanwell Power Station in central Queensland, said to become Australia’s largest hydrogen project.

A year’s study will assess the technical, commercial and strategic feasibility of a large hydrogen electrolysis plant near Stanwell, energy minister Dr Anthony Lynham says.

Hydrogen produced could be used for a variety of purposes, including fuel cell vehicles.

Government-owned generator Stanwell Corp is investigating a 10 megawatt or larger demonstration plant, the largest plant of its type in Australia.

“By deploying hydrogen electrolysis at large scale, the demonstration plant could help drive down production costs and support the development of new domestic and export markets for hydrogen,” Lynham says.

The study started in July and is looking at building an electrolysis plant. Demineralised water already produced at Stanwell would be treated at the plant to produce hydrogen.

The hydrogen produced could be used to produce liquid ammonia for fertilisers and as an industrial chemical, compressed and sold as a gas for various uses, including for manufacturers; compressed and used to generate electricity in a gas turbine or a fuel cell.

Stanwell has had discussions with potential local and international commercial partners and customers.

“The proposed site is well located near local ports for access to export markets,” Lynham says.

State development minister Cameron Dick says the surge of interest in hydrogen development in Central Queensland shows the government’s Queensland Hydrogen Industry Strategy 2019-2024  is working.

“I’m confident that in partnership with industry, universities and research institutes, we can develop a clean, green hydrogen export industry in Queensland.”