WA issues call for $22m hydrogen institute

Brandon How

Applications to design the Western Australian government’s new $22 million hydrogen training and research facility for the Pilbara will close next week, rounding out a two-week tender period.

The Clean Energy Training and Research Institute (CETRI) aims to support the establishment of a clean industries workforce in the region and is a part of the wider $140 million Pilbara Hydrogen Hub co-funded through the federal government’s regional hydrogen hubs program.

Its research and development focus is expected to be on skills and training related to production, transportation, storage and export of renewable hydrogen, the government said in a statement on Tuesday.

The successful contractor will be expected to “define and scope the requirements” for establishing CETRI, which should facilitate industry, vocational education and training, and university collaboration, according to the tender documents.

In a separate announcement last week, the WA and federal governments announced a co-investment of $70.5 million for the establishment of a TAFE Clean Energy Skills National Centre of Excellence that CETRI must be connected with.

Western Australian Premier Roger Cook and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. Image: LinkedIn

The initial business case for the multi-user facility was led by the Pilbara Development Commission and was delivered to the state government in November 2023.

When scoping the design of CETRI, the successful contractor must develop a research model for the hub and consider how to aggregate existing and planned providers of hydrogen and related training programs.

The model must promote a coordinated research agenda, provide space for academic and commercial research, promote common user facilities, and leverage private capital at a ratio close to three or four times each dollar of public investment.

Research priorities of “industry and potential partners in research across global, national and local settings” must be identified in the Project Design Document and include a budget outlining what payments would be needed to establish CETRI, “within the $22 million funding envelope”.

Although the tender only opened on June 10, it is slated to close to applications just two weeks later on June 25. The final design document is due 30 weeks from commencement of the contract.

Premier Roger Cook, who is also minister for state and industry development, said that “developing the skills we need for the clean energy jobs of the future will help Western Australia to secure major job-creating hydrogen, ammonia, critical minerals and renewable energy projects in the regions”.

While there is a “proposed budget” for the contract, “this is not disclosed and not publicly available”, according to tender documents.

The Pilbara Hydrogen Hub is expected to be fully operational by mid-2028.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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