21/02/2020 - 13:32

Cash for Yara hydrogen study

21/02/2020 - 13:32

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Yara Pilbara and Engie have received a $1 million boost for a planned renewable hydrogen project from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, but Western Australia will not be involved in the establishment of a new Australian Hydrogen Centre.

Cash for Yara hydrogen study
The Yara technical ammonium nitrate plant near Karratha.

Yara Pilbara Holdings and Engie have received a $1 million boost for a planned renewable hydrogen project from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, but Western Australia will not be involved in the establishment of a new Australian Hydrogen Centre.

Norway-based Yara runs a liquid ammonia plant and a nitrates plant near Karratha, with the company now planning to create a renewable hydrogen facility as an input for carbon-free fertiliser.

Arena announced today it would chip in $995,000 for a feasibility study in the project, which will also involve French giant Engie.

Renewable hydrogen would be sourced through electrolysis of water, with the process powered by solar generation.

“We appreciate that Arena has recognised Yara and Engie’s complementary expertise and experience on this complex project via this commitment,” Yara International executive vice-president production Tove Andersen said.

“ARENA’s support will assist in completing the feasibility study so that we can fully understand the opportunity for generating renewable hydrogen for use in our Pilbara facilities.”

He said cutting costs for production, storage, transport and deployment on hydrogen would be key to increased use of the technology.

On the east coast, ARENA will give $1.3 million to Australian Gas Infrastructure Group to establish an Australian Hydrogen Centre.

That will investigate blending hydrogen into gas pipelines in South Australia and Victoria, initially at 10 per cent, and explore full conversion to hydrogen.

The project will be supported by the Victorian and South Australian governments, AusNet Services, Engie and Neoen.

The study will be finished in January 2022.

ARENA chief executive Darren Miller said the natural gas network would be a key piece of infrastructure to support decarbonisation of the national energy system. 

“The network has the potential to be used for the long-term storage of renewably produced hydrogen and limit the need for electrification alternatives, which can be costly,” he said.

“The development of a local hydrogen sector will underpin the investment in technology and skills to support the long-term export opportunity.

“These studies will go a long way to identifying the possibility of using and storing hydrogen in local gas networks.”

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