16 April 2024

Toyota to deliver first locally made hydrogen generator to Thiess

Toyota Australia will deliver its first hydrogen fuel cell stationary power generator assembled in Australia to mining giant Thiess.

Toyota Australia will deliver its first EODev GEH2® hydrogen fuel cell stationary power generator assembled in Australia to mining giant Thiess.

The 110kVA GEH2® power generator is the first assembled at Toyota’s facility in Altona, Victoria. The company invested A$3.27 million in the facility, with the goal of assembling up to 100 GEH2® generators over the next three years. It aims to produce 28 in 2024 for customers in the mining, construction and events sectors.

The generator was designed by EODev (Energy Observer Developments), a French company specialising in hydrogen solutions, with the support of Toyota Motor Europe. Toyota and EODev are partnering to assemble the generators at Altona. The generators will be available locally and for export to New Zealand.

‘It’s part of our multi-pathway approach to decarbonisation,’ says Toyota Australia President and CEO Matthew Callachor. ‘We provide Australian customers with a range of technologies and mobility solutions, including power generation, that help reduce carbon emissions.

‘We are firmly committed to growing, and investing in, the hydrogen economy here in Australia.’

Thiess is planning to use the generator in its mining operations in New South Wales. The company is looking to add a second unit in the future as part of its decarbonisation program.

Toyota Australia President and CEO Matthew Callachor (left) handing over the keys of the first EODev GEH2® generator assembled at Toyota’s Altona facility to Thiess Group Executive - Assets, Autonomy & Digital, Ramesh Liyanage. Credit: Toyota Australia.


Trialling hydrogen-powered vehicles in Australia

Toyota has been operating in Australia since 1959. Today, the company employs 1,500 staff in the country. In 2021, Toyota built Victoria’s first commercial-grade hydrogen production, storage and refuelling facility at its former manufacturing site at Altona. The facility supports Toyota’s global goal of achieving zero CO2 emissions from its vehicles and plants as part of its Environmental Challenge 2050.

In 2023, Toyota Australia was selected by its parent company in Japan to operate an Australian-first customer pilot program. Toyota Australia worked with Australian companies to trial a prototype HiAce van powered by a hydrogen-fuelled internal combustion engine. The feedback from customers would support further development, with the aim of bringing vehicles powered by hydrogen-fuelled internal combustion engines to full commercialisation.

CPB Contractors was among the first to trial the prototype HiAce van. The company is one of Australia’s largest construction firms with over 60 major projects. CPB Contractors reported that the hydrogen-fuelled combustion engine technology has similar maintenance and refuelling requirements to that of petrol and diesel-fuelled vehicle models. It also offered a significantly higher level of operational efficiency when compared to electric vehicles, which require charging infrastructure and considerable time to recharge.

‘Australia is the perfect place to run such a program,’ says Callachor. ‘Our federal and state governments have already committed A$6.3 billion in funding for hydrogen projects under the National Hydrogen Strategy.

‘We also have an extensive variety of environments and climatic conditions that will enable us to evaluate the hydrogen powertrain technology to its fullest and ensure it delivers on Toyota’s high standards,’ he says.

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