International consortium accelerates green ammonia export plans


Renewables outfit Energy Estate says it has partnered with a team of domestic and global energy players to fast track the development of the HyNQ Clean Energy Project, an integrated green hydrogen and ammonia production and export facility being developed in north Queensland and underpinned by “extensive behind-the-meter solar PV and wind” power.

Sydney-based Energy Estate said the HyNQ project would utilise “large-scale renewable energy generation” developed on site to power a “global-scale” green hydrogen and ammonia production facility with a view to export to countries such as Japan and South Korea.

Energy Estate said its new project partners will help take the project to its next stage, funding a pre-front-end engineering design (FEED) study on the feasibility of producing and exporting green ammonia from the Port of Abbot Point near Bowen.

The consortium includes Idemitsu Australia, a subsidiary of Japanese oil and gas giant Idemitsu Kosan, and Queensland government-owned electricity generator CS Energy.

“Bringing together a group of highly respected energy companies, each focussed both on the domestic opportunities for Queensland and key export markets of Japan and Korea will help accelerate the potential of HyNQ,” Energy Estate co-founder Vincent Dwyer said.

The project proponents have already completed scoping studies and initial grid connection investigations and plan to harness the benefits of existing infrastructure, while drawing on the experienced workforce and supply chain of north Queensland.

It is expected the pre-FEED activities will be completed in the second half of 2023 and, if all goes well, the project will proceed to a final investment decision in late 2024, early 2025, with hydrogen and ammonia production commencing in 2027/2028.

Idemitsu Australia Chief Executive Officer Steve Kovac said the project is a major opportunity for north Queensland and Australia’s energy transition.

“We are excited to partner with Energy Estate and other consortium members to examine the feasibility of manufacturing and exporting green hydrogen and ammonia,” he said. “The study is a critical step to supply low-carbon energy solutions and forms part of the HyNQ project to build infrastructure to support green industries and deliver a pathway for green hydrogen and ammonia production.”

The HyNQ project adds to Energy Estate’s growing portfolio of renewable energy developments, including plans to team with Melbourne-based Sunshine Hydro to develop several large-scale pumped hydro energy storage projects in Victoria integrating green hydrogen production and new renewable generation capacity.

That joint venture builds on the existing partnership between the companies in Queensland where they are jointly developing a “superhybrid” project which would incorporate 1.8 GW of wind generation and 600 MW of pumped hydro with 18 hours of storage. The Djandori gung-i project, being developed near Miriam Vale in central Queensland, would also include 300 MW of hydrogen electrolysers, 50 MW of liquefaction, and a 50 MW hydrogen fuel cell.

Energy Estate has also announced plans to develop 1.6 GW green hydrogen network in the New South Wales Hunter region.

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