Hydrogen safety regulation in Queensland

Hydrogen is a versatile fuel gas that can be used to produce heat, light or power. Hydrogen is derived primarily by splitting water or reacting other fuels with steam or controlled amounts of oxygen. While hydrogen has served mostly as an input into a range of industrial processes, it has the potential to be used across a number of applications.

Emerging markets where hydrogen is used as a fuel gas

  • Transport—fuel cell electric vehicle and filling infrastructure
  • Heat—blending into the natural gas network or using in a network of 100% hydrogen
  • Electricity—generating electricity via fuel cell
  • Synthetic fuels—blending with fossil fuels in internal combustion engines
  • Export—export for use as a fuel
  • Hydrogen micro-grids—small scale production and storage of hydrogen and use in a fuel cell to generate electricity in a small off-grid network (e.g. to replace diesel generators).

Regulators and government departments

In Queensland, safety and health is regulated by government agencies including, the Petroleum and Gas Inspectorate of Resources Safety and Health Queensland (RSHQ), Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (Office of Industrial Relations) and the Electrical Safety Office (Office of Industrial Relations).

The Department of State Development, Tourism and Innovation receive development applications and will notify all relevant departments of upcoming projects.

Regulation of hydrogen used as a fuel

The Petroleum and Gas Inspectorate works with industry and the public to regulate and improve safety and health in relation to fuel gases under the Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004. This includes regulating hydrogen when used or intended to be used as a fuel gas.

Proposed hydrogen safety code of practice

A hydrogen safety code of practice (the code of practice) is being developed for applications that use hydrogen as a fuel gas.

The code of practice will provide a consolidated framework on how to comply with safety requirements for fuel gas under the Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004 and proposes alternative means of compliance where existing requirements are not practicable. Topics addressed include:

  • safety regulation frameworks applying to hydrogen in Queensland
  • approvals for hydrogen gas devices (including fuel cells in vehicles)
  • gas work licences and authorisations including training and competencies for hydrogen gas work
  • hydrogen suppliers and delivery networks
  • hydrogen fuel stations
  • odour requirements for fuel gas containing hydrogen
  • hydrogen in pipelines and gas distribution systems.

A consultation period for the draft code of practice (PDF, 812KB) was held in the first half of 2022. Responses informed the final policy approach.

Read the final draft of the Hydrogen safety code of practice (PDF, 2.2MB).

The RSHQ response document (PDF, 1.2MB) responds to the feedback received and provides more context on what was – and was not – changed and why.

Current legislative requirements will continue to apply until further notice. If you are undertaking a project that cannot comply with current legislative requirements, email hydrogensafety@rshq.qld.gov.au.

The key milestones in the development of the code of practice are:

October 2021 Registration of interest was announced
October–November 2021 Discussion paper (PDF, 1.7MB) released and industry feedback received
October 2021 A webinar was held about hydrogen safety in the mobility sector:
May 2022 The draft hydrogen safety code of practice (PDF, 812KB) released for feedback
25 May 2022 A webinar was held to provide an overview of the draft code of practice:
24 June 2022 Last date for submission of feedback about the draft code of practice
September 2022 Feedback is being considered and incorporated into the final draft of the code

The final hydrogen safety code of practice will be published following legislative amendments and government approval
Post September 2022 Amendments are made to the Petroleum and Gas (Safety) Regulation 2018 to call up the code and enable the alternative means of compliance

The code is revised and published as a final legislative document

Contact

For information on managing safety and health throughout the hydrogen life cycle or advice about proposed or current hydrogen projects, contact the Petroleum and Gas Inspectorate.

Email: hydrogensafety@rshq.qld.gov.au
Phone: (07) 3199 8027

Contact