Revealed today (April 20), the local bus company Emerald Coaches would receive the funds and integrate hydrogen buses into the day-to-day operations of the company.

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The project will see Emerald Coaches integrate two hydrogen fuel cell electric buses into its fleet of 120 diesel buses by mid-2023 in the Bowen Basin.

In supporting these zero-emission buses, it helps to decarbonise Australia’s public transportation creating demand for the clean energy carrier.

Mick de Brenni, Australian Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen, said, “Projects are being progressed across Queensland from the tip of Cape York to the border with New South Wales, and will ensure we keep bringing world-leading energy technology to Queensland.

“This is the HIDF’s largest investment so far in our growing hydrogen supply chain.

“The Palaszczuk Government is investing to establish a long-term, thriving domestic hydrogen industry, giving industry like freight access to competitively priced lower-emission energy options.

“The addition of Emerald builds on the tri-state MoU with New South Wales and Victoria and delivers on our commitment to innovation, economic growth and more highly skilled jobs for Queenslanders.”

Mark Bailey, Transport and Main Roads Minister for Queensland, said, “The Queensland Government is driving Queensland’s low-emissions transport future with 30 new electric buses hitting the road and Australia’s first 100 per cent electric bus depot now open.

“We’ve made a commitment that every new bus in South East Queensland would be zero emission from 2025, and that commitment expands to our regions between 2025 and 2030.”

Michael Baulch, Director of Emerald Coaches, said, “Emerald Coaches is the first private bus operator in Australia to commit to zero carbon emissions by 2040.

“We want to lead the transition to zero emissions while providing education and training in this exciting emerging industry.

“This HIDF grant means we’re now on the way to establishing a hydrogen bus fleet that can operate throughout the Central Highlands and Mackay regions, fuelled by hydrogen produced from local sunshine and water.”