Origin plans hydrogen hub in place of its soon-to-be-closing coal assets

The Bayswater power station will now close no later than” 2033.


Origin says its Hunter Valley Hydrogen Hub would produce green hydrogen from “sustainably sourced” water and renewable electricity from its portfolio using a grid-connected 55 MW electrolyser.

The project would be designed in such a way that hydrogen production could to be scaled up to potentially export the fuel in future.

The energy giant has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Orica to conduct feasibility studies into the facility looking also at downstream value chain opportunities.

The study will assess the ways an industrial hydrogen hub could support meaningful use cases for green hydrogen in the Hunter Valley and beyond, including to supply heavy industry and transport, to blend into natural gas pipelines and potentially be converted into green ammonia at Orica’s existing Kooragang Island manufacturing facility.

Origin flagged the hydrogen could also fuel trucking and passenger bus operations in the Hunter, Central Coast and Greater Sydney regions and further support the NSW government’s goal of having 10,000 fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) by 2030.

The news comes just weeks after Origin announced it would close Australia’s largest coal-fired power station, Eraring, seven years early in 2025. Eraring is also in the Hunter Valley in northern New South Wales – with the new development possibly a way of breathing new hope of jobs into a region historically driven by rapidly-closing coal.

The Eraring power station will close mid-2025, seven years ahead of schedule.

Image: Origin

Last week, Origin hit back at some of the press which has unsurprisingly surfaced around its coal plant’s early closure. On its website, it published an open Letter to the Editor of The Australian, slamming Peta Credlin’s article ‘power of the woke cowboy capitalists’.

In her article, Credlin incorrectly stated that Origin had refused a NSW government request to buy or lease Eraring Power Station and keep it operating. Something the company said is absolutely untrue. “Origin did not receive, nor did it reject, any offer to buy or lease Eraring.”

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