The Western Australian government is working to lure companies into developing green hydrogen projects by offering them land on a “greenfield” or undeveloped site known as the Oakajee Strategic Industrial Area, 23 kilometres north of Geraldton on the state’s mid-coast,
Among the companies to have been allocated spots are BP, Fortescue Future Industries (FFI), Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, Green LOHC, Kinara Power, and Blue Diamond Australia – all of which have previously expressed interest in the concept.
Through its development agency DevelopmentWA, the Western Australian government owns a total of 6,400 hectares of undeveloped land in the area. It wants to turn 1,134 hectares of that into a “heavy industrial core,” with a 1,000 hectare deep water port and a 4,000 hectare “buffer zone.”
Exactly how much land each of these six companies have been allocated has not been disclosed, nor has its price tag.
The government did say the move is part of a $47.5 million strategy to “activate” Oakajee Strategic Industrial Area and turn it into a globally competitive renewable hydrogen precinct.
The land allocation to these six companies is still subject to negotiations with DevelopmentWA. Given its location, the site is described by the government as having “world class wind and solar energy potential.”
Not much mention is made of the land’s Traditional Owners though, with DevelopmentWA noting it “owns all of the Oakajee SIA’s 6,400ha in freehold ownership.”
None of the six companies’ projects have yet gone through their scoping and feasibility studies. However, Fortescue Future Industries has already signalled it is considering exporting green ammonia from the site.
“The company is confident that the quality of wind and solar resources in the region could support a major renewable energy hub, including associated industries such as the manufacturing of key infrastructure equipment,” the company said in a statement.
The Western Australian government also announced $3 million for Western Power to undertake a feasibility study on electricity connection of the Oakajee SIA to the South West Interconnected System.
The Oakajee Strategic Industrial Area website lists other potential uses for the site include “export-orientated activities such as magnetite iron ore and downstream processing industries.”
The Oakajee project is one of 13 similar such industrial visions across WA. The idea, DevelopmentWA says, is to provide “appropriate locations for investment in strategic, heavy industrial and downstream processing industries.”
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