CEFC hydrogen investment fuels world’s heaviest fuel cell electric trucks

A landmark investment by the CEFC will help develop a local hydrogen economy while driving down emissions in the transport sector.

Hydrogen truck

In its first investment through the Advancing Hydrogen Fund, the CEFC has committed up to $12.5 million to help Ark Energy Corporation produce green hydrogen to power what are expected to be the world’s heaviest fuel cell electric trucks.

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation commitment, on behalf of the Australian Government, will finance five purpose-built, zero emissions trucks and the construction of hydrogen production and refuelling infrastructure to fuel them, helping deliver a more sustainable zinc supply chain.

The hydrogen fuel cell electric trucks will deliver zinc ore from Townsville Port in Queensland to the Sun Metals Refinery, where they will refuel with green hydrogen produced on site, before taking zinc ingots back to the port in a 30 km clean energy round trip.

Ark Energy’s SunHQ hydrogen hub will include a 1MW PEM electrolyser, compressors, storage and refuelling infrastructure that will produce up to 158 tonnes of green hydrogen per annum. It will be powered by renewable energy from the Sun Metals 124 MWac solar farm at the zinc refinery.

The 140 tonne rated Hyzon Motors hydrogen fuel cell trucks are expected to be the first of their kind in Australia, replacing their diesel equivalents in the Townsville Logistics fleet. The initial five zero emissions trucks are expected to abate about 1,300 tonnes CO2 per year.

The project is also supported by $3.02 million funding from ARENA, which has announced conditional approval, to be paid upon the commissioning of the refuelling facility and delivery of the five fuel cell electric trucks.

CEFC Head of Hydrogen Rupert Maloney said: “Everything we learn about hydrogen use in heavy transport will also help others who are also keen to improve their sustainability despite similar challenges. By demonstrating the suitability of what are expected to be the largest hydrogen fuel cell electric trucks in the world, this investment has the potential to spearhead further take up across the heavy transport sector, including mining and other industries such as rail, marine and even aviation.

“This investment also enables us to lift our ambitions even further and support emissions reduction in the carbon intensive zinc supply chain,” Mr Maloney said.

It is the latest CEFC investment to align with priority technologies identified by the Australian Government Low Emissions Technology Statement, following investments in soil carbon and transmission infrastructure. The CEFC invested in hydrogen technology through the Innovation Fund, with a $750,000 commitment to Hysata to develop its innovative electrolyser production technology.

The transport sector is Australia’s third largest source of greenhouse gases, responsible for 17.5 percent of emissions. Transport emissions have risen 41 per cent since 1990.1

The Australian Hydrogen Market Study, which was commissioned by the CEFC, found that transport is close to commercialisation, with high utilisation heavy haul transport likely to be dependent on green hydrogen to reduce emissions.

Read more about the Clean Energy Finance Corporation here.

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