Hydrogen Fuels Australia and CLARA Energy have agreed to plan and build a $600 million green hydrogen distribution network along the Hume Highway between Melbourne and Sydney.
The two companies are collaborating on the hydrogen project in Tarcutta, New South Wales, where Energy will be responsible for developing production capacity at scale, and Hydrogen Fuels Australia (H2FA) will act as distributor and station operator.
The facilities will support freight and logistics companies transitioning their fleets from diesel to hydrogen. According to H2FA, each diesel truck replaced with a hydrogen alternative will reduce 2.4 tonnes of CO2 between a Melbourne and Sydney return journey.
The agreement between both companies comes as the Victorian, NSW and Queensland governments announced a tripartite Hydrogen Highway strategy to create hydrogen refuelling stations along the main arterial roads of Australia’s East Coast, to facilitate a smooth transition from diesel to green hydrogen in the coming decades.
H2FA Managing Director, Francesco Ceravolo, said the partnership aims to deliver green hydrogen production and distribution at scale.
“We believe green hydrogen is necessary to decarbonise heavy freight and ultimately lead to the complete displacement of diesel for green hydrogen,” he said.
“The CLARA Energy project located on the Hume Highway at Tarcutta in NSW will have the capacity in stage one to produce approximately 25,000 kg per day of green hydrogen at a price competitive with diesel.”
According to Ceravolo, stage one will provide adequate green hydrogen supply for approximately 200 heavy haulage trucks running between Sydney and Melbourne daily.
The project’s two subsequent stages are expected to bring green hydrogen production to at least 100,000 kg per day – enough to support 800 heavy haulage trucks and reduce more than 57,000 tonnes of CO2 produced by diesel engines.
CLARA Energy CEO, Nick Cleary, said the project will help the hydrogen industry become viable in Australia.
“We know the Hume is the busiest truck route in Australia and once the major logistics companies know there will be guaranteed supply of hydrogen at a commercially viable price, it will provide even greater confidence to accelerate the transition of their fleets,” he said.
The companies are planning to build additional green hydrogen refuelling stations in Epping and Seymour in Victoria, another in the Southern Highlands of NSW, and a major refuelling station in Sydney.