SA calls for proposals to build $593 million green hydrogen power plant


The South Australian government has released an international request for proposals (RFP) from industry partners to help deliver a 250 MW green hydrogen production facility, 200 MW hydrogen power plant and associated storage infrastructure.

The government said the green hydrogen power plant, which will provide firming capacity in the state grid, is to be operational by December 2025.

The call focuses on the supply, construction and operation of the hydrogen plant and equipment as well as seeking interest in purchasing hydrogen produced at the facility.

State Energy Minister Koutsantonis said South Australia is already a leader in clean energy production, with renewables accounting for 69% of its energy generation in 2022, and it now wants to become a global leader in green hydrogen.

Koutsantonis said the hydrogen power plant will play a major role in the state as a significant global player in green hydrogen production and give it an early advantage in attracting associated supply chain jobs, ongoing maintenance and potentially manufacturing.

“As the world looks to decarbonise, South Australia is making a once-in-a-generation investment in green hydrogen, an investment that places the Upper Spencer Gulf region at the epicentre of a renewable energy revolution,” he said. “Local power, local jobs, global exports, global leadership – we will seize this opportunity to transform not just the energy sector but potentially the state’s economic future,” Koustantonis continued, citing South Australia’s global reputation as a renewable energy generation leader with a prime solar advantage.

An artist’s rendition of the proposed $593 million Whyalla hydrogen project.

Image: SA Labor

The government has already secured land options near Whyalla for the power plant and associated green hydrogen production and storage facilities, saying that by securing exclusivity over land options it “can expedite the design process and de-risk the project by ensuring that appropriate land is available on time.”

The sites are within a 15km radius to the northeast of the city and close to critical infrastructure, transport links and existing and planned economic development.

They include a 238-hectare parcel of land in the Whyalla industrial estate and 8.7 hectares in the Cultana Industrial Estate which are the preferred locations for the hydrogen production facility and hydrogen power station. A third site adjacent to the Cultana industrial estate provides the opportunity for power generation and other infrastructure for the project.

The government said the scale of the sites allow for future expansion of the scope and size of operations.

The request for proposal will remain open until Feb. 21, 2023, with contracts expected to be awarded in July 2023.

The state government’s hydrogen power plant underpins an estimated $18 billion worth of hydrogen processing investments planned for Whyalla.

Others planning to establish renewable hydrogen facilities in the industrial city include Fortescue Future Industries, Origin Energy, H2U – the Hydrogen Utility, Neoen, Chiyoda Corporation, ENEOS Australia, Mitsubishi Australia, and AMP Energy, while GFG Alliance has plans for green steel production.

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