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Game-changer for sustainable tourism

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AN INNOVATIVE partnership will see the ‘fuel energy source of the future’ come to the Whitsundays.

Elvin Group Renewables and Hydrogen Integration Technologies sought Whitsunday Regional Councils’ joint advocacy and support for the Hi T Whitsundays Future Fuels project, at last Wednesday’s council meeting.

Elvin Group Renewables and Hydrogen Integration Technologies presented a proposal to council that aims to stimulate the use of future fuels in the Whitsunday region, namely ammonia.

The project presented a partnership between Elvin, as the energy provider, Explore Group, who are purchasing ammonia fuelled vessels from Elvin, and council, which has suitable land and can utilise green energy through its operations, while looking to support sustainable tourism and communities.

The 18-month project establishes ammonia and hydrogen at the Whitsunday Coast Airport and Shute Harbour Marine Terminal, which are the two main transportation hubs in the Whitsunday region.

Councillor Brunker spoke in favour of the project at the meeting.

“This will fit very well with the recent announcement of green origins $8m project, in Collinsville, it’s great that we can advocate for these guys,” Cr Brunker said.

“It’s the fuel energy source of the future, and it’s great that they want to do it here because it fits in with the image of the Whitsundays and the Great Barrier Reef.

“We support any new industry that’s going to help the region and any sort of green investment in our region will be fantastic.”

Cr Clifford raised concerns about the danger of having an ammonia fuel storage on Shute Harbour Road, however, council aviation and tourism spokesperson Shaun Cawood said that it was safe to store the ammonia because it will be converted to hydrogen on the vessel itself.

The outcomes of this project could effectively activate the transition to ammonia/hydrogen fuel in the Whitsundays, which would be a game-changer for sustainable tourism.

Shaun Cawood suggests that the Whitsundays could be using passenger boats that utilise hydrogen fuel by April next year.

The amount of new jobs is estimated at 50, with 45 being through construction and five ongoing.

The Queensland Hydrogen Industry Strategy 2019-2024 has been established by the Queensland Government to encourage investment and development of hydrogen projects across Queensland.

The motion was carried 7/0, with all members of the council including the mayor voting in favour.

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