$9.4m for Hazer hydrogen

02/09/2019 - 15:35

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A commercial biogas to hydrogen operation in Perth is a step closer for Hazer Group, after the company announced it had received approval from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency board for $9.4 million of funding.

$9.4m for Hazer hydrogen
Andrew Cornejo created the Hazer process. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira

A commercial biogas to hydrogen operation in Perth is a step closer for Hazer Group, after the company announced it had received approval from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency board for funding of $9.4 million.

The plant will be located at the Water Corporation’s Woodman Point wastewater treatment plant, and will produce about 100 tons of hydrogen per annum.

The project, which will cost $15.8 million, will be completed by December 2020.

It uses Hazer’s process, created by chief technology officer Andrew Cornejo, which converts biogas into hydrogen and graphite using an iron ore catalyst.

About $7.9 million of ARENA’s funding will be a grant to cover capital cost, while the remainder will be to cover operating expenses.

However, the money will be contingent on the company securing the remainder of the funding needed, and biogas supply and hydrogen offtake agreements.

Hazer managing director Geoff Ward said there was strong potential for hydrogen to play a role in Australia’s economy.

Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor said the project would produce hydrogen and manage waste products.

“The funding commitment is conditional on Hazer raising the remaining capital necessary to deliver the project,” he said.

“The Water Corporation owns the project site and operates over 100 wastewater treatment plants across the state. 

“It is estimated the facility will be fully operational and generate enough biogas to be commercially deployed by 2021.

“Hydrogen has the potential to deliver economic benefits similar to the growth of the LNG industry in Australia over coming decades; providing reliable, affordable and low emissions energy.

“Today’s announcement builds on more than $100 million the Government has already invested in hydrogen projects around Australia, and the development of the National Hydrogen Strategy.” 

ARENA chief executive Darren Miller said accelerating hydrogen was a new investment priority for the agency.

“Renewable hydrogen is typically produced by splitting water molecules using renewable electricity,” he said. 

“However, Hazer’s process represents an alternative way to produce hydrogen using biogas sourced from wastewater treatment plants.

“If successful, this project will offer opportunities to replicate the technology across other treatment plants and landfill sites across Australia.

“This technology could help set up Australia as an exporter of hydrogen, and open up new market opportunities from the graphite that is produced as a by-product of the hydrogen production process.”

Shares in Hazer fell 4.7 per cent to be 30.5 cents each at the close of trading.

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