The ASX-listed QEM has engaged technical consultant DNV Australia to conduct a pre-feasibility study focusing on the potential of solar PV and wind farms to power a green hydrogen production facility at the remote location.
The announcement comes after QEM last month confirmed it had commissioned E2C Advisory to investigate the capital and operating cost requirements for the company to produce green hydrogen at the Julia Creek site using a solar-powered electrolyser.
QEM managing director Gavin Loyden said on Thursday the exploration and production mining company is proactively progressing its green hydrogen strategy.
“Engaging DNV demonstrates that we are swiftly laying the foundations for green hydrogen opportunities at Julia Creek,” he said.
“The Julia Creek site receives significant sun exposure and DNV has already noted that the site is substantially flat, which bodes well for installation of wind power generation.”
DNV, formerly DNV GL, will complete solar farm resource mapping and modelling, as well as a preliminary solar PV system design. DNV will also develop a preliminary wind turbine layout and assess wind farm resources.
The study will help QEM assess how complementary wind and solar are at the site as potential renewable energy sources for the electrolyser to produce hydrogen.
The pre-feasibility study is expected to be completed by the end of the second quarter and will be followed by more solar resource monitoring and wind resource measurements.
“The commissioning of these studies will lay the groundwork to advance our green hydrogen strategy at Julia Creek, amid increasingly buoyant market conditions and the project’s optimal location and resource profile to produce hydrogen on-site,” Loyden said.
The Julia Creek project is located in Queensland’s North West Minerals Province. The region is not connected to the National Energy Market (NEM) but the CopperString 2.0 high voltage transmission line is set to connect Mount Isa with Townsville.
It is envisaged the green hydrogen would initially be used as a support to the energy needs of other resource projects in the region but would ultimately be used for the hydrogeneration of QEM’s raw oil into transport fuels.
QEM’s pursuit of its green hydrogen production strategy comes amid growing interest in the renewable energy source from both the private and public sectors.
The Queensland Government has been active in its support of the renewable energy source, committing $25 million as part of an industry development fund.
The State Government has also appointed Australia’s first dedicated minister for hydrogen, with Minister for Energy Mick de Brenni taking on the portfolio. And last month it named a seven-member team of industry experts to fast track the establishment of a sustainable hydrogen supply chain.
“The Hydrogen Taskforce’s primary job will be to work with industry across the supply chain to help accelerate the growth of the hydrogen sector in Queensland,” de Brenni said.
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