05/05/2021 - 10:30

Pilbara, Mid West hydrogen projects get boost

05/05/2021 - 10:30

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Green hydrogen projects in Karratha and the Mid West have received $71 million from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.

Pilbara, Mid West hydrogen projects get boost
The Yandin wind farm is located near Warradarge. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira

Green hydrogen projects in Karratha and the Mid West have received $71 million from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.

The funding was part of a $103 million package, with a Victorian project also winning a share.

ARENA said it had allocated about $30 million more than planned so it could support all three projects.

About $43 million will be channelled to Engie’s project on the Burrup Peninsula with Yara Pilbara Fertilisers.

That will involve a 10-megawatt electrolyser to produce renewable hydrogen for use in Yara’s ammonia production.

Ammonia is produced from natural gas at the Burrup plant, but the chemical could become an easy way to ship hydrogen produced from renewable power.

Production will begin in 2023, with 625 tonnes of renewable hydrogen and 3,700t of renewable ammonia per year. 

Yara said the project could help form the basis of a Pilbara hydrogen hub.

“Renewable hydrogen can decarbonise ammonia production, and renewable ammonia can serve as renewable feedstock for a variety of industrial uses, and even more importantly, renewable ammonia is one of the world’s most promising fuels for green power generation and shipping,” Yara Pilbara general manager Laurent Trost said.

The Clean Energy Innovation Park planned by Atco at Warradarge in the Mid West will receive nearly $29 million.

That will also support installation of a 10MW electrolyser.

Atco will blend the hydrogen into the state’s main gas trunkline, the Dampier Bunbury Pipeline, owned by Australian Gas Infrastructure Group.

The project can serve as a test case for use of green hydrogen in the gas network.

It will be colocated with the Warradarge wind farm.

Atco managing director Patrick Creaghan said the company had been investing in hydrogen since 2017.

 “The development of the Clean Energy Innovation Park has the dual benefit of not only contributing to the decarbonisation of the gas distribution network, it also allows us to generate the economies of scale required to expand the demand and use of renewable hydrogen as a commercially viable fuel,” Mr Creaghan said.

Australian Gas Infrastructure Group chief executive Ben Wilson said his company had renewable hydrogen projects across the value chain.

He said Atco and AGIG hoped to build a commercial hydrogen sector in the state. 

Menawhile, contractor Clough will work with GE after being picked as the engineering, procurement and construction contractor at a gas and hydrogen power station in New South Wales.

The Tallawarra stage B plant will be Australia’s first net zero emissions hydrogen and gas capable power plant, with direct carbon emissions from the project offset over its operational life, Clough said.

Clough chief executive Peter Bennett said the project would boost the Illawarra economy.

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