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The Federal Government has set up a $300 million fund to back projects focused on growing a clean and competitive hydrogen industry in Australia.

The Advancing Hydrogen Fund will be administered by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) and will provide concessional finance for projects that support a national hydrogen industry.

It comes at a time that the Queensland Government has been promoting Gladstone and Townsville as key export hubs for the industry.

In February Hydrogen Utility (H2U) announced that it had selected Gladstone as the location for a $1.61 billion chemical complex proposed to produce green hydrogen and ammonia at industrial-scale.

Australian Gas Networks (AGN) will build a $4.2 million gas injection facility in Gladstone to deliver renewable hydrogen into the city’s gas network, with  $1.78 million from the Queensland Government’s $15 million Hydrogen Industry Development Fund (HIDF).

Also in Central Queensland the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is stumping up almost $3 million for Dyno Nobel and Queensland Nitrates sites to assess the feasibility of building ammonia plants fed by renewable hydrogen.

Work to assess the feasibility of a renewable hydrogen demonstration plant co-located near Stanwell Power Station outside Rockhampton is also already receiving Federal support.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said the new fund would be a catalyst for the future growth of Australia’s hydrogen industry, which had the potential to boost Australia’s energy security while creating jobs.

“There are many innovative Australian organisations working to advance the hydrogen industry and this fund will support that work. Our Government is very committed to backing technological advances in the hydrogen industry.”

Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor said the Advancing Hydrogen Fund met a commitment in the National Hydrogen Strategy, launched at the COAG Energy Council meeting in November last year to build Australia’s hydrogen industry into a global export industry by 2030.

“The Australian Government has a strong commitment to building a hydrogen industry which will create jobs, many in regional areas, and billions of dollars in economic growth between now and 2050,” said Mr Taylor. 

“Importantly, if we can get hydrogen produced at under $2 a kilogram, it will be able to play a role in our domestic energy mix to bring down energy prices and keep the lights on.” 

The new fund comes on top of the recently opened $70 million Renewable Hydrogen Deployment Funding Round administrated by ARENA.