Government supporting unique renewable hydrogen and ammonia opportunity

A feasibility study into the production of renewable hydrogen and ammonia in the portside town of Geraldton in Western Australia is being supported by the Australian Government.

The Government, through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), will provide $1.71 million to BP Australia to evaluate the feasibility of building a renewable hydrogen and ammonia production facility in Geraldton.

Under the study, BP will investigate using grid connected power and procuring renewable electricity through a power purchase agreement (PPA) to produce renewable hydrogen using electrolysis. Renewable hydrogen would then be used instead of natural gas to produce renewable ammonia.

BP aims to produce approximately 20,000 tonnes of renewable ammonia from the facility per year for domestic use. BP will also investigate export opportunities by leveraging its existing trade relationships.

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said the study would allow the Government and ARENA to better understand the economic opportunity and technical implications of a fully integrated renewable hydrogen supply chain.

“This project will build on the strong ammonia production industry that already exists in Western Australia. Utilising renewable hydrogen provides a fantastic opportunity for this industry to reduce emissions and sell a clean, in-demand product to global buyers,” Mr Taylor said.

“If proven to be feasible, this project will help the Government to achieve our goal of producing hydrogen at a competitive price and have a positive impact on global emissions.”

Analysis by Deloitte indicates an Australian hydrogen industry could generate about 8,000 jobs, many of which will be in regional Australia, and about $11 billion a year in GDP by 2050 through both domestic and export opportunities.

Member for Durack Melissa Price said regional communities like Geraldton will play an important role in the development of our future domestic hydrogen industry.

“Geraldton is a natural fit for this project through its access to solar and wind energy resources, its port facilities and close trade proximity to Asian markets”, Ms Price said.

“Today’s announcement builds on previous support for renewable hydrogen projects in Durack, with the Government backing Yara Pilbara Fertilisers Pty Ltd (Yara) to investigate the feasibility of producing renewable hydrogen and ammonia for fertiliser production in Western Australia’s Pilbara mining region.”

BP will partner with GHD Advisory to deliver the $4.42 million feasibility study and is due to be finalised by February 2021.

The Australian Government is supporting the development of an Australian hydrogen industry as a new and clean source of energy. Australian governments launched the National Hydrogen Strategy in November 2019.

Source: Australian Government