Speaking at the Australian Hydrogen Conference at Adelaide Convention Centre, premier Peter Malinauskas this morning announced his government will begin the market sounding, the precursor to its procurement process, for its promised $593 million hydrogen plant near Whyalla.
Open from today, the tender will seek input from local, national and international organisations to deliver technical, design and delivery concepts for the project. This process is part of the new Labor state government’s Hydrogen Jobs Plan, which it plans to deliver no later than December 2025.
The market sounding process will be open for six weeks, closing on July 15. An information session on the process will be held on June 15, though a precise time is yet to be determined.
The Whyalla hydrogen plant was one of government’s major election promises and will involve a 250 MWe hydrogen electrolyser facility, a 200MW hydrogen-fuelled power station and storage capacity capable of holding 3,600 tonnes of hydrogen. While the precise location of the facility has not yet been determined, it will be near Whyalla on the east coast of the Eyre Peninsula.
Malinauskas said the electrolysers would use excess renewable energy to produce green hydrogen, reducing the need to remotely switch off rooftop solar for households and businesses, and would help unlock a $20 billion pipeline of renewable energy projects in the state.
Malinauskas also announced that his government will develop new legislation to regulate hydrogen production, storage and transportation. The legislation will also cover licensing, and will presumably follow templates used for oil and gas industries.
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