The city of Geelong will be home to a next generation hydrogen service station announced by Viva Energy. The New Energies Service Station will be built at the site of Viva’s existing petroleum refinery and feature a 2MW electrolyzer as well as hydrogen compression, storage and dispensing infrastructure. The $43.3 million project is supported by the Australian Government with $22.8 million through ARENA (Australian Renewable Energy Agency).
The first public hydrogen refueling facility in Australia, the project aims to support the uptake of hydrogen fuel cell technology in heavy and long distance vehicle fleets in the Geelong region. Renewable hydrogen will be produced on site using recycled water from Barwon Water’s Northern Water Plant. Construction will begin next year and the new filling station is expected to commence operations by early 2024.
As part of the project, ARENA funding will subsidize the purchase of the initial 15 fuel cell vehicles that will utilize Viva’s refueling infrastructure. Project partners Toll Group, ComfortDelGro Corporation, Cleanaway and Barwon Water have signed on to purchase the hydrogen powered vehicles including commuter buses, prime movers and municipal waste collections vehicles.
The development of the New Energies Service Station is part of Viva’s recently announced plans to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, with aims to upgrade and replicate the project across Australia. The company hopes the new facility will be the first of a network of hydrogen refueling outlets located on key transport routes up Australia’s east coast, connecting Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.
“Our existing partners have come on this journey with us and we share their excitement about what it means for the future of zero emissions transport,” said Viva Energy CEO and MD Scott Wyatt. “This project puts hydrogen-powered vehicles on the road to prove their value in day-to-day commercial operations while reducing the carbon footprint of the heavy vehicle transport we rely on every day.”
“We’re excited to be working with Viva Energy to build Australia’s first hydrogen refueling station publicly available to independent fleets,” commented ARENA CEO Darren Miller. “The experiences of Viva Energy and fleet vehicles using the renewable hydrogen produced onsite will provide valuable insights into the operation of different types of hydrogen heavy vehicles.”
The announcement follows ARENA’s recent opening of the Future Fuels Program, a $128 million package with an initial focus on supporting both passenger and heavy vehicle fleets to transition to zero emission vehicles.
Photo: Viva Energy