Provaris lodges referral for 2.8 GW green hydrogen project


Provaris Energy has submitted an Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Referral to the federal government for the proposed Tiwi H2 Project being developed on Melville Island off Australia’s northern coastline.

The Tiwi H2 Project involves the development of an up to 2.8 GW solar farm which would power an electrolyser capable of producing an estimated 100,000 tonnes of green hydrogen per annum for export into the Asia-Pacific region. Construction of the project is targeted to commence in 2024 with first hydrogen production expected in early 2027.

Perth-based Provaris announced on Tuesday it had lodged an EPBC Referral with the federal government’s Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW) for the proposed project.

“The EPBC referral has been prepared to demonstrate that the Tiwi H2 Project will be developed in a safe, sustainable and efficient manner, pursuing a minimal environmental and social impact,” Provaris Energy executive director and chief development officer Garry Triglavcanin said.

“We look forward to the DCCEEW’s decision, expected by late November 2022.”

The EPBC referral marks the second phase of the environmental assessment processes for the project after Provaris lodged a referral submission with the Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority earlier this year. The company expects a decision from the EPA later this month.

Provaris is planning to develop green hydrogen production and export facilities on Melville Island, where the hydrogen will be manufactured through the electrolysis of purified sea water and powered by solar energy. The initial development will see about 500 MW solar of solar generation installed on the island but Provaris says it could be expanded to 2.8 GW as the renewable hydrogen market expands.

The Tiwi H2 Project is targeting an annual green hydrogen production of 100,000 tonnes, which will be exported to the Asia-Pacific region, with a particular focus on Japan, South Korea, Singapore and China.

Provaris managing director and chief executive Martin Carolan said the company has begun the process of looking for development partners for the project, specifically in areas of investment, offtake, construction and operational support to jointly develop the project.

“Provaris continues to advance the Tiwi H2 from concept design through to the phases of detailed design, engineering and approvals to ensure the project maintains its position as an early mover in the export of green hydrogen from Australia,” he said.

“We are now actively seeking partners for joint development of the project given the simplicity of compressed H2 offers a shortened development timeframe and lower project capital cost to export hydrogen into the emerging Asia-Pacific markets.”

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