Hydrogen ship maker to develop 2.8 GW green facility off the north coast

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Western Australian company Global Energy Ventures (GEV) today announced it will be developing a major green hydrogen project off Australia’s north coast with the backing of the Northern Territory government and traditional land owners. The Tiwi Hydrogen Project, as its called, will be constructed in phased capacity up to 2.8 GW, eventually producing 100,000 tonnes per annum of green hydrogen for export into the Asia-Pacific region. 

The initial development will see around 500 MW of solar generation installed on the island, expanding as regional hydrogen markets grow and costs of solar, electrolysers and shipping reduce. A financial investment decision for the project’s first phase is expected in 2023, with the company saying this would allow its first hydrogen export to begin in 2026, subject to approvals and offtake.

The project seeks to vertically integrate GEV’s hydrogen business, which has largely focussed on designing and making ships to both run on and carry compressed hydrogen. “This project can transition GEV from a midstream service provider to an innovative hydrogen company,” GEV’s managing director and CEO, Martin Carolan, said. “Our compressed shipping solution is highly modular and can therefore scale to match the advancement of electrolyser technologies and market demand for pure green hydrogen gas, and deliver a competitive cost of hydrogen as the project scales.”

Tiwi Hydrogen Project Overview

Global Energy Ventures (GEV)

Storing hydrogen as a compressed gas has received far less attention than its denser cousins, liquified hydrogen and ammonia. The Western Australian company, however, is convinced the simplicity of compressed hydrogen makes it both a quicker and more financially feasible way to supply the Asia-Pacific region.

The Tiwi Islands were selected for the project because of their proximity to key future markets like Japan, Korea and China. The project’s location is also near to Port Melville, with GEV saying it will continue working with the port’s owners AusGroup Limited to integrate the project and port facilities. 

The company will be developing the Tiwi Hydrogen Project in parallel to its ship engineering and class approval program, which earlier this month cleared a significant approval milestone after being issued its Approval in Principle from the American Bureau of Shipping.

The Northern Territory’s Minister for Renewables and Energy, Eva Lawler, welcomed the news and the company’s work with the Tiwi Land Council and Traditional Owners of the land. GEV’s proposed project is located on the traditional lands of the Munupi people, with the company saying its next steps in developing the project include working with the Tiwi Plantation Corporation, Tiwi Land Council and Munupi Landowners to progress securing a Section 19 Lease/Licence over the proposed solar site. 

It is also seeking to finalise community benefits to the Tiwi people, in the form of leasehold payments, employment, and supporting power and water infrastructure.

GEV plans to fast track the installation of solar monitoring stations at several locations on the island, allowing it to establish bankable solar generation data for the proposed project location. It will then move forward with feasibility studies, gathering further information on the project development schedule, technical partners, project scale, solar monitoring activities and appointment of consultants.

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