A multi-million dollar hub at Deakin University will propel Warrnambool to the forefront of hydrogen fuel research and technology.

Warrnambool will become a nation-leader in hydrogen fuel research and technology through a cutting-edge hub to be built at Deakin University.

The Hycel Technology Hub research and training facility will be one of Australia’s first regional hydrogen hubs and specialise in developing, testing, training, demonstration and manufacturing hydrogen fuel technology.

Construction is due for completion by December, 2022, and the $23.7m hub is expected to create 210 full-time regional and sector jobs – including jobs in fuel cell manufacturing and pilots – across the south-west over the next 10 years.

The Federal Government on Thursday announced $7m in funding for construction and fit-out of the Hycel fuel wing, which is in addition to $2m provided for the establishment stage.

It builds on $9m invested by the Victorian Government last week while Deakin has contributed $2m and other industry partners $3.7m.

Deakin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Iain Martin said the hub would open possibilities to tap into the global hydrogen market, predicted to be worth $US2.5 trillion and generate 30 million new jobs globally by 2050.

“The hub will feature Australia’s first large fuel cell manufacturing line, which will also test fuel cells for heavy vehicles and industry,” he said.

“The facility will also allow testing of existing fuel cells right here in Victoria rather than sending them overseas to Canada or Germany. This will save both energy and time – we anticipate that testing in Victoria will cut waiting periods by two to three years.

“Importantly, the hub will also support training, education and social licence programs to ready the Australian workforce for the hydrogen jobs of the future.”

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research, Alfred Deakin Professor Julie Owens, said the Hycel Technology Hub would be a “living laboratory”.

“There’s no doubt that hydrogen is a key part of Australia’s clean energy future,” Professor Owens said.

A feasibility study is also being conducted to convert Warrnambool’s Deakin campus to 100 percent hydrogen.

“It is this type of industry-led research that connects Australia’s best minds and solves real-world problems,” Prof Owens said.

Member for Wannon Dan Tehan said the hub would help “better develop the technology needed to power Australia into the future”.

“The hub will become one of Australia’s first training facilities that will ready Australians for a hydrogen-powered future, and I’m thrilled that it’ll be located right here in Warrnambool,” he said.

Extracted in full from: Deakin University hydrogen hub: Warrnambool to become nation-leader in hydrogen technology research | Herald Sun