LINE Hydrogen raises more than $900,000 in two days for Tassie green hydrogen plant
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Perennial-backed green hydrogen company, LINE Hydrogen, has launched a crowdfunding campaign on Birchal to give ‘mum and dad’ investors the chance to invest in the green economy.
Founded by Brendan James, a metallurgical engineer with more than 20 years’ experience, the Queensland-based company is looking to build a commercial-scale green hydrogen plant in Bells Bay, Tasmania with a targeted production of 1.5t of hydrogen per day using solar power as the energy source.
James said LINE Hydrogen made the commitment early on to provide retail, or non-institutional investors with the opportunity to invest in the company at an early stage, a marked departure from the usual practice of opening early investment only to institutional investors.
“The crowdfunding turned out to be a really good model for that through using the Birchal crowdfunding platform,” he said.
Having sparked the interest of more than 1,000 potential investors, the company now hopes to raise around $2–2.5 million to get the project off the ground.
“The investment opportunity has only been open to expression of interest holders, but we have managed to raise more than $900,000 in two days,” he said.
“From 12pm today the general public will be able to participate for another two weeks.”
The community support will add to the $5mn in funding received by the Labor Government in the lead-up to the election.
Dubbed the ‘George Town’ Project, LINE Hydrogen intends to produce green hydrogen to replace diesel in Tasmanian trucks and buses, with the first stage comprising hydrogen production and 24 hydrogen trucks which will be leased to industrial partners.
A 5MW ground-mounted solar farm will be constructed by mid-2022 to supply behind-the-meter renewable energy to the hydrogen production plant with a target power supply and first production earmarked for January 2023.
While Tasmania was chosen as the company’s first production site due to the state’s willingness to progress renewable energy projects, James said LINE Hydrogen started looking into green hydrogen around seven years ago.
“We needed to find a way to make regional and remote industrial projects sustainable going forward because at the time our projects completely relied upon diesel and not just for heavy equipment but for power generation,” he said.
“LINE Hydrogen started looking at options for renewable energy and the only one that fit the bill was hydrogen – but at that point, there weren’t many companies talking about it.
“This is when we decided to develop our own electrolysers, fuel cells and hydrogen combustion engines and then eventually, started looking at a project where we could produce hydrogen for ourselves.”
Over that seven-year period, James said hydrogen has become more accepted in the community as a form of green energy with a great amount of demand.
“We are really focusing on the diesel replacement market. George Town Project will be our first project to go into production, which will produce hydrogen for the heavy vehicle network in Tasmania but over time, we could build at least five hydrogen refuelling stations and create around 135 direct jobs,” he said.
Further information can be found on the website of Birchal at www.birchal.com. Any queries regarding LINE Hydrogen should be directed to LINE Hydrogen and not to Stockhead.