Viva Energy’s hydrogen service station on track for 2023

Viva Energy has announced further “significant steps” towards delivery of its “industry-leading” hydrogen refuelling station in Geelong, Victoria.

On track for delivery in late 2023, the project is designed to service a diverse set of Australia’s most prominent commercial transport fleets.

Viva Energy has placed orders for a 2.5MW electrolyser for the creation of green hydrogen as well as a fast-fuelling hydrogen dispensing system capable of refuelling multiple vehicles at once. This equipment will be the “first of its kind” in the Australian market and is expected to be delivered in the third quarter of 2023.

The containerised electrolyser is being provided by Nel Hydrogen US, a subsidiary of Nel ASA in Norway, together with its local partner ENGV, and is expected to be the largest in Australia by a “considerable margin”.

In addition, Viva Energy is partnering with Air Liquide for the provision of a ‘fast fill’ hydrogen refuelling package designed to refuel at least 10 trucks or busses consecutively. This “leading-edge” system is expected to be the largest in Australia and will be capable of dispensing 300kg of hydrogen in under two hours. This, says Viva Energy, will provide hydrogen customers with a similar refuelling experience to today’s traditional service station.

Together, this equipment will provide Viva Energy with the capacity to generate and deliver more than 1000kg of green hydrogen per day, powering a fleet of at least 15 hydrogen fuel cell heavy vehicles.

Viva Energy says these are “critical” first steps in the company’s vision to establish Australia’s “most ambitious” hydrogen mobility project, which is expected to be the catalyst for a network of hydrogen refuelling stations reaching from Geelong and Melbourne to Sydney and Brisbane.

The project was made possible through $22.8 million funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and $1 million from the Victorian government’s Renewable Hydrogen Commercialisation Pathways Fund.

Green hydrogen is not currently available in commercial, deliverable quantities in Australia, so Viva Energy’s delivery model involves the production of green hydrogen onsite through the utilisation of renewable electricity and recycled water.

The electrolyser will produce hydrogen by using renewable electricity to split water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen. The recycled water will be supplied from Barwon Water’s Northern Water Plant.

While this will be Australia’s first publicly accessible commercial hydrogen refuelling station, Viva Energy says overseas the technology has been in use for more than 10 years and there are more than 680 hydrogen refuelling stations in 33 countries.

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