Line Hydrogen on Monday announced it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Blue Cap Mining to develop a 100% renewable energy solution to replace fossil fuel-based power generation at the resource company’s Lord Byron mining operation in Western Australia’s Goldfields region.
The project, slated to begin development in early 2023, will see the Brisbane-based Line Hydrogen design, develop and operate a large-scale renewable energy generation facility and green hydrogen production plant at the Lord Byron mine site about 250 kilometres northeast of Kalgoorlie.
Line Hydrogen did not disclose the make-up of the renewable energy generation facility but said it would be capable of “producing circa 49 GWh of power each year” and would be used to power the mining operation and make green hydrogen for use on-site.
The company said the green hydrogen will be used to power the Lord Byron gold mining operation during non-renewable energy generation periods and will also provide a replacement for diesel-fuelled activities on the site including mining and processing equipment, generators and vehicles.
Blue Cap Mining managing director Ashley Fraser said he expects the project will deliver significant economic and environmental benefits, including potentially lowering the company’s cost of production “quite significantly”.
The incorporation of renewable power and green hydrogen in the mine’s operations is expected to displace about 13.2 million litres of diesel per annum that would typically be consumed in the course of normal operations.
The combined renewable power generation, green hydrogen and mining operations are expected to result in an additional 150 full-time jobs in the region.
Fraser said the pre-feasibility phase of the project will be completed by the end of 2022, with bankable feasibility status milestones set for 2023 and construction likely to begin within an 18-month period.
Line Hydrogen executive chairman Brendan James said the partnership with Blue Cap Mining is a significant step for the green hydrogen hopeful.
“For Line Hydrogen, the partnership provides guaranteed offtake,” he said. “It will be an important starting point for Line Hydrogen providing commercial-scale green hydrogen to the WA Goldfields and represents a significant step towards achieving our goal to support regional and remote industries to access renewable energy sources.”
The project is the latest for Line Hydrogen which is also looking to develop a green hydrogen production facility in Tasmania’s north. It is expected the proposed $100 million project will produce 1,500 kilograms of green hydrogen a day using solar power as the energy source. The company earlier this year signed a term sheet with Climate Capital’s Bell Bay Solar Farm to build up to 5 MW capacity in George Town.
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