$240m South Australia hydrogen project to be world leader


South Australia’s intention to create a green hydrogen export industry has taken a big step forward, with the launch on Thursday of a world-leading $240 million hydrogen project.

This project would be the largest green ammonia plant in the world, being 60 times larger than Australia’s largest electrolyser at Tonsley in Adelaide.

The initial stage of the H2U Eyre Peninsula Gateway Hydrogen Project will see the installation of a 75MW electrolyser near Whyalla, capable of producing enough hydrogen to create 40,000 tonnes of ammonia each year. It is targeted for completion in late 2022.

The project will be later expanded to the export stage, which will provide an industrial-scale facility with a total production capacity of up to 2,400 tonnes per day of green ammonia, designed to drive further exports.

Demand is strong. Japan already has identified green ammonia as a key fuel to reduce its carbon emissions and fuel its economy.

Because of the export potential, the SA government is allocating $37 million in the upcoming 2020-21 State Budget to upgrade the Port Bonython jetty.

Premier Steven Marshall said upgrading the jetty would unlock significant investment and export opportunities for South Australia, with hydrogen driving renewed interest in Port Bonython.

“South Australia’s ambition to create, use and export green hydrogen is getting global attention, and has great potential to create jobs and sustain long-term investment,” Mr Marshall said.

“Maintaining this critical piece of infrastructure will unlock further export opportunities in key markets, particularly across Asia, boosting economic activity and creating jobs in our state.

“My government also has been working to assist Australian company H2U to establish connections with potential international customers, and its hydrogen project at Pt Bonython is a very exciting one for South Australia.”

Mr Marshall said the $240 million demonstrator phase of the project was of global significance, but was just the precursor to a much larger production and export facility that could also strengthen the state’s energy ties with traditional trading partners.

“This comes at the perfect time, as we lead our economic recovery from the global coronavirus pandemic,” he said.

SA Energy and Mining Minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan congratulated H2U on the project and committed to helping fast-track the project’s development.

“Our intention of net-100 per cent renewable energy generation by 2030 will produce some of the most cost-effective green hydrogen in the world,” he said.

Chief Executive Officer of H2U, Dr Attilio Pigneri said the project would help drive the development of the emerging markets for green hydrogen and green ammonia.

“It offers the opportunity to export South Australia’s abundant solar and wind resources to support deep decarbonisation in the global energy, industrial and shipping sectors,” he said.

“In the energy sector, Japan is leading the way with its plan to introduce green ammonia as a substitute fuel, to help meet its decarbonisation targets.”

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