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AGN owns the natural gas distribution network in Gladstone, which energy retailers use to transport gas to homes and businesses.

Hydrogen Park Gladstone (HyP Gladstone) in Queensland is the next step on our renewable gas journey and builds on our Hydrogen Park South Australia facility to deliver the first ‘whole of gas network’ decarbonisation project.

The $4.2 million facility will produce renewable hydrogen, using water and renewable electricity, for blending at up to 10% with natural gas, and supply to the entire Gladstone network of around 770 properties. This project will supply the highest percentage volume of hydrogen delivered by an existing gas network in Australia to all connections including commercial and industrial properties.

Visual: Artist impression

 

Supported by the Queensland Government with grant funding of up to $1.78 million from the Hydrogen Industry Development Fund, HyP Gladstone is an important first step in the development of a sustainable renewable hydrogen economy as supported by the Queensland Hydrogen Industry Strategy 2019-2024.

We are currently in the development stage of the project, including securing the site, the Development Application process, and appointing project partners.  

 

How is renewable hydrogen produced?

Hydrogen is the most abundant molecule in the universe, however it’s not freely available - it must be separated from other elements.

The HyP Gladstone facility will use renewable electricity and water to produce hydrogen, which will then be blended with natural gas, creating a 10% renewable gas blend.

The blended gas will be distributed to all homes and businesses using the existing natural gas distribution network in Gladstone.

About The Project

Image: Schematic of Hydrogen Park Gladstone.

 

What’s next – the longer-term vision

At AGN we are committed to delivering for our customers today and tomorrow. We are targeting 10% renewable gas across our networks by 2030 and conversion to 100% renewable gas by no later than 2050 – and by 2040 as our stretch target. You can learn more about our plans here.

Renewable gas is not only key to decarbonise homes and businesses but can also be used in vehicles, industry and as a way to export our sun and wind resources.

We are actively pursuing additional hydrogen projects with a view to blending more hydrogen into our Queensland and other Australian networks.

 

Project Benefits

 

Australia is working towards a reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) to between 26 to 28% below 2005 levels by 2030 and Queensland is working towards 50% renewable energy by 2030 and net zero carbon emissions by 2050. It also has ambitions for a sustainable renewable hydrogen industry as supported by Queensland’s Hydrogen Industry Strategy 2019-2024.

Benefits of hydrogen and blended gas

Today Australia’s energy system relies on diverse sources of energy – natural gas and liquid fuels (petrol and diesel) are used for more than double the energy provided by electricity. As we move towards net zero emissions, maintaining diverse sources of energy can help with energy security, reliability and affordability.

Like natural gas, hydrogen can be used to heat buildings, for cooking and hot water, to power vehicles and produce electricity. Unlike natural gas or petrol, when burned, hydrogen produces only heat and water vapour – no carbon emissions.

Modelling indicates that decarbonising natural gas through renewable hydrogen can be up to 50% cheaper than electrification as it avoids significant investment in additional electricity infrastructure such as poles, wires and additional batteries. It also means customers retain their choice of energy supply, and those industries relying on gas can continue to access it.

Hydrogen also has other benefits such as:

  • being used as a transport fuel
  • providing a way to store renewable electricity
  • being able to generate renewable electricity through fuel cells and turbines
  • being a desirable product overseas, enabling a new export industry

 

 

How much difference will hydrogen blending make to emissions?

A blend of up to 10% renewable hydrogen helps to lower carbon emissions relatively quickly without changes to appliances, pipes and meters. Through HyP Gladstone, our customers will receive Australia’s lowest carbon gas through the existing network, with approximately 57 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions saved per annum. This is the equivalent of removing around 19 petrol passenger vehicles from the road.

What it means for homes and businesses

 

Residents and businesses connected to the gas distribution network in Gladstone Central, Barney Point, South Gladstone and West Gladstone will receive the up to 10% renewable gas blend. These properties are referred to as the blended gas project area, shown on this map.

If you are the blended gas project area and connected to the natural gas network, you are not required to do anything as part of the project. You will not notice any difference to the quality of the gas you receive.

Furthermore, the project will not impact any existing arrangements you have in place with your gas retailer - the amount you pay for blended gas will be no different to the cost of 100% natural gas.

If you live or work in the project area and you do not have natural gas or you have an LPG connection, this information is provided to you for information only.

Homes and businesses in the blended gas project area were first informed via a letterbox drop in August 2021. If you are unsure how this project applies to you, please contact us.

 

Gas volume on your meter

Hydrogen has a lower heating value than natural gas, this means hydrogen carries slightly less energy for the same volume. As a result, people in this demonstration will need a slightly higher volume of blended gas to provide the same amount of energy compared to using natural gas. AGN will make a billing adjustment to ensure customers do not have to pay more than if they were using natural gas. If you have questions about your billing that haven't been answered here, contact us.

 

No impact on network or appliances

Our networks are made of polyethylene and are suitable for transporting a hydrogen blended gas.

Your appliances will continue to work safely and reliably on up to 10% blended renewable gas. You can see a video of someone using blended renewable gas here.

The characteristics of the blended renewable gas supplied as part of this project are consistent with those set out for natural gas within the Australian Standard.

Any appliances sold in Australia are subject to testing to ensure they work safely and reliably with natural gas. They are tested with varying gas compositions to account for the varying sources of natural gas supplied around Australia. One of these “limit” gas compositions already contains 13% hydrogen, and therefore all certified household gas appliances sold in Australia have undergone a range of safety tests with this level of hydrogen.

There has been extensive research and several projects in Australia and overseas in relation to the blending of hydrogen with natural gas and its use in appliances.

  • At Mitchell Park in South Australia we are delivering an up to 5% renewable gas blend to customers
  • Jemena’s Western Sydney Green Gas project will begin blending renewable gas to customers in the second half of 2021
  • Projects in the Netherlands, UK and France are using hydrogen at up to 20% volume for hundreds of customers
  • a project in Germany has successfully blended up to 10% hydrogen volume

 

"Hydrogen can be safely added to natural gas supplies at 10% by volume without changes to pipelines, appliances or regulations. Over time, and with modifications to the existing gas networks and appliances, hydrogen can completely replace natural gas for domestic cooking, heating and hot water." A report for the Council of Australian Governments (COAG)

As a benefit of being part of this project, we are offering residents in the demonstration area an opportunity to have a free gas appliance audit to ensure your gas appliances are installed correctly and working safely and efficiently. Contact us to register your interest in the appliance audit.

 

FREE Gas Appliance Efficiency Audit

Did you know that the independent Queensland Government regulator for health & safety recommends you undertake regular checks of your gas appliances? As a benefit of being part of this project. AGN is offering a FREE Gas Appliance Efficiency Audit for residential and commercial properties within the project area who are connected to the natural gas network (excluding LPG connections).

If you’re interested in taking up the offer, you can register in one of the following ways:

 

We will contact you to confirm your eligibility and make arrangements for our qualified gas fitter to undertake the audit.

 

Regulations and approvals

We are experts in developing and operating gas infrastructure safely and reliably. Our commitment to safety underpins all we do, and we must be satisfied that our renewable gas projects are safe before first production.

The properties of hydrogen are well known and there is a significant body of evidence on its safe handling, including from industries that have produced, transported and used hydrogen for more than 100 years.

Blended gas, comprising natural gas and hydrogen, is already being used safely around the world in homes and businesses. Customers should not notice any difference in the quality, safety or reliability in gas, nor should there be any noticeable difference in flame colour or gas smell.

We are subject to regulation by government bodies, which are designed to ensure our commitment to safety, reliability and service continues. We will have all necessary approvals in place before production begins.

Using hydrogen and natural gas safely

Hydrogen, like other fuels, is flammable and this is a key reason it can provide us with energy. It also means we need to treat hydrogen and blended gas with respect, as we do natural gas, electricity, petrol and other energy carriers.

Blending up to 10% renewable hydrogen won’t change the approach to safety that is currently in place. The blended renewable gas will still retain the distinctive natural gas smell that allows you to detect any leak.

You should continue to follow the same safety principles you do with your natural gas supply, ensuring you appliances are installed correctly and maintained. Importantly, if you ever smell gas or think there is a leak, you should report it.

Did You Know? ... We are going back to the future!

From the late 1960s through to the 1990s parts of Queensland relied on Towns Gas. Towns Gas was gas manufactured from coal and consisted of 50-60% hydrogen. Some places such as Hong Kong and Singapore still rely on Towns Gas. We switched from Towns Gas upon the discovery of natural gas, because at the time natural gas was considered more reliable and economic. Today, the costs of producing hydrogen are coming down, and we know that blended gas is the first step on our journey to lowering carbon emissions.

 

Reporting a gas leak

If you ever smell gas in the street or on your property before or from your gas meter you should call our Leaks and Emergency Services on 1800 GAS LEAK (1800 427 532) to locate and repair the leak.

If you think the leak is after the meter on a section of pipe work connecting your appliances, or on the appliance itself, you should contact a licensed gas fitter to fix the problem. Remember, any person undertaking work involving gas must be appropriately licensed.

Learn more about gas leaks and emergencies.

If you have questions about safety that haven't been answered here, please read our FAQs or contact us.

Project Progress

 

HyP Gladstone launched to Gladstone community

August 2021

We were pleased to launch our comprehensive engagement with the wider community on delivering up to 10% renewable blended gas to Gladstone.

We first introduced the project to homes and businesses in participating parts of Gladstone via a letterbox drop in August 2021, which reached around 4,700 addresses. Advertisements in local print publications, on digital news platforms as well as on social media helped spread the word to the wider community.

Artist impression of the proposed HyP Gladstone facility, drone image courtesy of Gladstone Regional Council.

 

Commencement of Gladstone Hydrogen Ecosystem Project

March 2021

We signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Sumitomo Australia, Gladstone Ports Corporation, Gladstone Regional Council, and CQUniversity Australia for a hydrogen ecosystem in Gladstone.

The work aims to springboard Gladstone from the up to 10% hydrogen blend delivered by HyP Gladstone to full network conversion, as well as unlocking the region’s full potential for hydrogen transport, industrial use, and later export.

The signing was marked by a media event attended by the Queensland Hydrogen Minister the Hon. Mick de Brenni MP, Gladstone Local Member Glenn Butcher MP, and Gladstone Mayor Matt Burnett amongst other key stakeholders and received widespread media coverage.

“From a community perspective this is great news for our region,” Mayor Burnett said. “Gladstone has an excellent track record for development, the early opportunities in domestic gas offtake and mobility are very exciting”. You can read the joint press release here.

AGN Executive General Manager of Customer and Strategy, Craig de Laine signing the MOU and facing media with the Minister, Mayor, and senior leaders at Sumitomo, CQU, and Gladstone Ports.

 

Hydrogen Barbecue during the opening week of 2021 Queensland Parliament

February 2021

We were pleased to host a hydrogen barbecue during the opening week of Queensland Parliament with Queensland Hydrogen Minister Mick de Brenni MP and many distinguished Parliamentary guests.

To mark the event, Minister de Brenni made an opening speech in Queensland Parliament speaking to Queensland’s ambitions to develop a sustainable renewable hydrogen industry and welcomed all MPs to a hydrogen-cooked lunch.

“The Hydrogen Park Gladstone project will be the first in Australia to blend renewable hydrogen into an entire city gas network for residential, commercial and industrial customers,” Mr de Brenni said. “Last month, I inspected the potential site in South Gladstone with representatives of the Australian Gas Infrastructure Group (AGIG), who have informed me that they’ve finalised their detailed engineering and design and the project is full steam ahead”. You can read the full press release here.

AGN CEO Ben Wilson and AGN Executive General Manager of Customer and Strategy, Craig de Laine with the Hydrogen Minister, Assistant Minister, and Queensland Hydrogen Champions cooking the barbecue on the Speakers Green at Queensland Parliament attended by at least 80 guests

 

Electrolyser Purchased

August 2020

After executing its Funding Agreement with the Queensland Government in mid-2020, we ordered a 175 kilowatt Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) electrolyser for installation at HyP Gladstone. The electrolyser is a key component of the electrolysis process, which uses renewable electricity to split water into oxygen and hydrogen gas, producing approximately 60kg of hydrogen per day.

The renewable hydrogen will then be blended with natural gas, creating an up to 10% renewable gas blend. The blended gas will be distributed to all homes and businesses using the existing natural gas distribution network in Gladstone. This model electrolyser unit is one of several currently operating in Australia, including in the Australian Capital Territory and Western Australia.

 

Project Funding Announced

February 2020

HyP Gladstone was announced as the first grant recipient from the Queensland Government’s $15 million Hydrogen Industry Development Fund. Premier and Minister for Trade Annastacia Palaszczuk said in an Australian-first, Gladstone will become the first entire city in the nation to be on a blend of natural gas and hydrogen.

“Using renewable hydrogen, Australian Gas Networks (AGN) will trial the blended hydrogen gas with a view to converting Gladstone’s network to hydrogen in the future,” Premier Palaszczuk said. “The Queensland Government is working hard to drive the hydrogen industry forward, to create highly skilled jobs, especially in regional Queensland.”

AGN’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Ben Wilson said AGIG is proud to partner with the Queensland Government on this ground-breaking project. “This project supports Gladstone’s vision to be a key hub for Queensland’s domestic and hydrogen export industry, just as it is for natural gas today."

AGN Head of Hydrogen Development, Vikram Singh with former Queensland Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing Glenn Butcher, Treasurer and Minister for Investment Cameron Dick, and Gladstone Mayor Matt Burnett at the HyP Gladstone funding announcement.

Contact us

Need to get in touch? You can contact us to find out more about our projects or register for updates using the below details.

Phone

1300 001 001 and press option 8

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