Tasmania is set to make a serious play at becoming a global powerhouse in renewable hydrogen production, with the state government announcing a 10-year, $50 million investment package to kick-start the industry.
And Bell Bay is being touted as the ideal location for the state's hydrogen "hub".
The government will today release its final renewable hydrogen action plan, announcing a $20 million renewable hydrogen fund, up to $20 million worth of concessional loans and up to $10 million worth of support services such as competitive electricity supply arrangements and payroll tax relief.
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The Bell Bay Advanced Manufacturing Zone is expected to be a key area for the fledgling industry, having been identified in the action plan as a first-stage site for a 100 megawatt production facility, expected to be up-and-running in 2022 at the earliest.
The government's vision is for the plant to expand to a 1000 megawatt facility from 2030, and potentially beyond 1000 megawatts if national and international demand for hydrogen grows as has been forecast.
Premier Peter Gutwein said the action plan would deliver projects to "leverage" the state's clean energy strengths and would complement the ambitious Battery of the Nation and Marinus Link projects.
"Our vision is ... to be commercially exporting hydrogen by 2030, creating hundreds of local jobs and injecting billions into the Tasmanian economy," he said.
Bell Bay's deep-water port and access to road and rail infrastructure and a local skilled workforce position it as the ideal site for a hydrogen hub, according to Energy Minister Guy Barnett.
"The hydrogen hub can be directly supplied with Tasmanian renewable energy - wind and hydro power - enabling the low cost production of renewable hydrogen," he said.
Mr Barnett added that renewable hydrogen would be much cheaper to produce in Tasmania than in other national jurisdictions due to the state's ample supply of clean energy.
Also outlined in the plan are opportunities for the government to boost hydrogen uptake by rolling out hydrogen-powered buses, fleet vehicles, ferries and barges.
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