WA continues push to become green hydrogen superpower

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The State Government announced on Friday it will pump $2 million from its Renewable Hydrogen Fund (RHF) into the Yuri Green Ammonia Project, a large-scale renewable hydrogen and ammonia development on the Burrup Peninsula in the state’s northwest.

The project partners will initially install a 10 MW solar farm and electrolyser to transition Yara’s existing ammonia plant’s dependence on natural gas to renewable hydrogen. The plans also cater for a significant expansion up to 500 MW in coming years with the solar energy used to produce renewable hydrogen, which will in turn be used to produce green ammonia for export to global markets.

WA’s Minister for Regional Development Alannah MacTiernan said the project would put the Pilbara “front-and-centre in the global renewable hydrogen race, creating a clean ammonia product for the world”.

“Western Australia has an extraordinary opportunity to become a leader in the emerging renewable hydrogen industry,” she said.

“With Yara’s Pilbara site alone accounting for 5% of the world’s ammonia production, this project offers a unique opportunity for WA to demonstrate the potential of green hydrogen at an industrial scale.”

The funding is part of the WA Government’s $28 million commitment to establishing the state on the world stage as a significant producer, exporter and user of renewable hydrogen.

The strategy has already reaped major rewards with the Pilbara home to the recently approved 26 GW Asian Renewable Energy Hub which, among other ventures, aims to produce green hydrogen for export to Asian markets.

The spectacular setting of the proposed Asian Renewable Energy Hub between the Western Australian coastal centres of Port Hedland and Broome.

Image: AREH/Google Maps

Other green hydrogen for export projects in WA include the 5 GW Murchison Renewable Hydrogen Project near Kalbarri, and Infinite Blue Energy’s $350 million Arrowsmith Hydrogen Plant. 

The Yuri project is the fourth capital works grant to be allocated in the first round of the RHF, subject to conditions including the project reaching a final investment decision.

The project is one of four in WA currently being considered for the Australian Renewable Energy Agency’s (ARENA) $70 million Renewable Hydrogen Deployment Fund grants program.

‘Super majors’ state their case

In another boost for the state’s renewable energy credentials, the government announced this week it had received 65 expressions of interest to produce an potentially huge 1.5 GW renewable hydrogen hub at the greenfields Oakajee Strategic Industrial Area north of Geraldton.

EOIs were submitted from Australia, Japan, Korea, India, Germany, Spain, the UK, France and the United States with at least 10 of the respondents classed as “super majors”, each having a global reach and market capitalisations in the $10s or $100s of billions.

“The strong response … confirmed what we already knew about the strong global appetite for renewable hydrogen, and the enormous potential of the Mid-West region,” MacTiernan said.

“Global economies are hungry for clean, renewable energy, and we have the perfect mix of wind and solar potential that is the envy of the world right here in WA.”

Located just north of Geraldton, the Oakajee SIA is recognised for its world-class wind and solar energy potential. Initial assessments show the site could provide up to 1,250 MW of solar and 270 MW of wind-generated renewable energy.

 

 

 

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