Viva Energy on target to complete hydrogen refuelling station in 2023
Photo courtesy of Viva Energy

Viva Energy on target to complete hydrogen refuelling station in 2023

Viva Energy Australia announced significant milestones towards the completion of its industry-leading hydrogen refuelling station in late 2023. 

In March 2022, Viva Energy announced the launch of Australia’s most ambitious hydrogen mobility project that will see the development of a New Energies Service Station in Geelong that is expected to be the catalyst for a network of hydrogen refuelling stations from Geelong to Sydney and onto Brisbane. 

The service station will be Australia’s first publicly accessible commercial hydrogen refuelling station. It will also offer electric vehicle recharging alongside green hydrogen refuelling, bringing together the zero emission technologies that will support Australia’s energy transition.

The development will be a key component of Viva Energy’s Geelong Energy Hub, making the city a leader in the adoption of diverse commercial hydrogen-vehicle activity. With this investment, Viva Energy is driving the activation of hydrogen in a cross-section of transport applications and supporting Australia’s vision to become a hydrogen superpower.

The AUD43.3 million (USD30 million) project will incorporate a 2-megawatt electrolyser for the generation of green hydrogen using recycled water from Barwon Water’s Northern Water Plant and is designed to facilitate the commercial deployment of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) in a cross-section of industries that cannot be easily decarbonised. These include road freight, public transport, municipal waste management, water treatment and general fleet.

The project received a AUD22.8 million (USD16 million) grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) as part of ARENA’s Advancing Renewables Program.

The Geelong project has now passed several significant milestones. Viva Energy has placed orders for a 2.5 megawatt (MW) electrolyser to produce 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 Australia 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. Once installed, it will be at least twice the size of any other electrolyser producing green hydrogen in the country.

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 buses consecutively. This leading-edge system will be the largest in Australia and will be capable of dispensing 300 kilograms of hydrogen in under two hours. This will provide Viva Energy’s 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 1,000 kilograms of green hydrogen per day, powering a fleet of at least 15 hydrogen fuel cell heavy vehicles.