For anyone who thinks the 26 GW Asian Renewable Energy Hub to export hydrogen fuel throughout south-east Asia is overkill, think again, because Hydrogen Renewables Australia (HRA) is already planning the 5,000 MW Murchison Renewable Hydrogen Project (MRHP), near Kalbarri in Western Australia (WA), and the early-stage project just received a big boost in the form of a partnership with global fund manager Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP).
The MRHP is located on Murchison House Station, and is set to be a large-scale hybrid wind and solar system to energise desalinated water into the production of hydrogen fuel for export to markets such as Japan and Korea.
The project, which already has Siemens on board as its technology partner (to utilise its Silyzer electrolyser), is another step closer to reality thanks to partnership with the Danish investment firm.
CIP specialises in renewable energy infrastructure and currently has more than €12 billion under management, including CAD$500 million invested in the soon to be constructed 400 MW Travers solar project in Alberta, Canada. Closer to home, CIP is a key supporter of the potential massive Star of the South off-shore wind project in the Bass Strait.
HRA Executive Chairman, Terry Kallis, said that the partnership with CIP will enable MRHP “to proceed with its planned development to assess the feasibility of producing competitive hydrogen exports for the Asian markets.”
Michael Hannibal, a partner at CIP, seconded Kallis, saying that the MRHP project “represents the best combined wind and solar resource in Australia and the project complements our existing activities in Australia.”
Kallis told the Australian Financial Review that CIP is “basically equity funding the project as we go forward subject to meeting certain-feasibility criteria and milestones…They are happy to take a certain level of risk in the early stages and be there effectively cradle to grave, which is a great partner to have.”
The partnership follows on from last week’s announcement from the newly elected Queensland Government that its new cabinet would include a ministry for Hydrogen, and coincides with the beginning of a four-day conference in Sydney held by the Australian Hydrogen Council (AHC).
All in all, Australia is full steam ahead, or shall I say, full hydrogen fuel ahead (doesn’t quite have the same ring), toward its goal of becoming a green hydrogen exporter. The global race for H is heating up as governments around the world, such as Saudi Arabia, look to establish themselves early in the market of the future.
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