Australia gears up for hydrogen transport solutions
Australian Energy Company Viva Energy has signed a deal with Hyzon Motor, a leading global supplier of hydrogen fuel cell powered commercial vehicles, to work together to provide zero-emission vehicles coupled with hydrogen refueling solutions in Australia, delivering a complete turn-key hydrogen transport solution.
With the intention of supporting Australia’s energy evolution Viva Energy is aiming to develop an energy hub at the site of its oil refinery in Geelong. Viva committed to make an investment of US $4 million in Hyzon as part of capital raising and listing on NASDAQ Stock Exchange.
Viva Energy is the exclusive supplier of the Shell brand and its products in Australia and has access to a network of more than 1,290 service stations across the country. Viva Energy’s association with Hyzon can develop an entire hydrogen transport solution. The traditional roadblocks can be avoided by getting hydrogen fuel cell vehicles on the road.
“By working closely with HYZON, which has experience in vehicle development for markets around the world, we can develop an entire hydrogen transport solution. This will overcome traditional obstacles and establish a hydrogen fuel cell network to establish hydrogen fuel. We provide demand for fuel cell vehicles, “said Scott Wyatt, CEO of Viva Energy.
Australia being the priority market, Hyzon has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Australia’s Pure Hydrogen to develop a chain of hydrogen refuelling stations across the nation.
This was followed by the decision to replace the mining giant Fortescue Metals Group’s fleet of diesel-fuelled buses with hydrogen-fuelled alternatives custom built by Hyzon Motors. Buses are used to transport workers at the company’s Christmas Creek iron ore mine. The Christmas Creek mine is the first mining operation in Australia to deploy hydrogen for transport and transition from diesel engines.
Fortescue Metals chairman Andrew Forrest declared the impact of renewable hydrogen “could be nothing short of nation-building”.
At present Hyzon has more than 400 fuel cell powered commercial vehicles on road. By 2023, they expect to deliver 5,000 fuel cell-powered trucks and buses and targets an annual capacity of about 40,000 fuel cell-electric vehicles by 2025.
“Hydrogen mobility for the Australian commercial vehicle sector holds enormous potential as fleets look to smoothly transition from fossil fuels to clean energy solutions that decarbonise their operations,” CEO of HYZON Motors Craig Knight said.
Australia’s refineries met their domestic demand for refined fuel. Today, more than 90% of Australia’s refined fuels are imported. In 2019-20, Australia imported $22.4 billion worth of refined petroleum products.
The prosperous oil refinery industry of Australia received a significant blow with Viva Energy’s new announcement. Many refineries shut down since they were not economically viable. Altona oil refinery in Melbourne and Kwinana oil refinery in Perth are a few to be named. Both are to be converted into fuel-import terminals. Ampol is said to be currently reviewing whether to keep its Brisbane refinery open or convert it into a fuel import terminal too. Geelong refinery is the only one that has stood the test of time so far.
The green hydrogen market could fetch a fortune of at least $US12 trillion by 2050. If Australia acts fast, the green hydrogen economy can make it a world leader.