Industrial fuel cell company AFC Energy has provided an update on its first commercial order in Australia for a proprietary hydrogen (H2) power generation unit from refiner Southern Oil Refining.

Over the past few months, AFC Energy has conducted initial engineering and supply chain preparedness work in advance of finalising the full suite of terms for supply of a fuel cell system into Southern Oil’s Gladstone Refinery during the course of 2019.

This work has included several meetings with electrode supplier Industrie De Nora together with containerisation suppliers that AFC Energy is currently working with to maximise the “plug and play” capability of the fuel cell system in Gladstone.

In the week commencing 15th October (2018), representatives of AFC Energy met with Southern Oil management at the bio-refinery and advanced bio-fuels laboratory site in Gladstone and at Southern Oil’s Brisbane based offices to progress the logistics, installation, operational matters and confirm commercial and contractual principles associated with the fuel cell system installation.

Southern Oil is currently reviewing the final engineering design of their H2 solution at the bio-refinery which may result in an adjustment to the volume of H2 available for the fuel cell system in Gladstone, however, both parties remain ever focussed on deployment of Australia’s first industrial scale fuel cell system.

Tim Rose, Southern Oil’s CEO, said, “We are delighted to continue our collaboration with AFC Energy. It is exciting for us to be the first mover in acquiring AFC’s H2 alkaline fuel cell. This technology compliments our suite of renewable, waste to energy projects which is focussed on delivering economically viable, and environmentally responsible clean energy.”

Adam Bond, AFC Energy’s CEO, added, “It was great spending the week with Southern Oil and seeing the tremendous work being carried out in Gladstone, Queensland.”

“Southern Oil have designed and built the world’s most advanced re-refining plant of waste lube oil back into base lube oil - as well establishing Australia’s only Advanced Bio-Fuels Pilot Plant and Laboratory. It is these types of facilities, together with companies such as Southern Oil, where the deployment of zero emission fuel cell systems makes absolute sense.”

“We continue to collaborate closely with Southern Oil’s technical team to ensure AFC Energy’s fuel cell is fully operational within the timeframe of their advanced bio-refinery, expected to be mid 2019.”