SA renewable hydrogen export project gets green light


Japanese trading and investment giant Marubeni Corporation expects to commence exporting green hydrogen from South Australia to Indonesia before the end of 2023 after breaking ground on a $12.5 million (USD 8.65 million) green hydrogen production facility being developed at Bolivar in Adelaide’s north

The green hydrogen project will comprise a demonstration-scale 150 kW electrolyser featuring proton exchange membrane technology, as well as a 5 MW battery energy storage system.

The facility will generate green hydrogen from renewable resources while the battery storage system will aid grid stabilisation in the region.

The green hydrogen is to be transported from South Australia to Indonesia in a metal hydride storage system developed by Australian technology company Lavo. The stored hydrogen will then be converted into power and heat for local use.

Lavo Chief Executive Officer Alan Yu said the project will serve to demonstrate the commercial and technical viability of exporting renewable hydrogen in metal hydride storage.

“We’re delighted that the Marubeni Corporation will use Lavo’s Australia developed, designed and manufactured metal hydride technology for green hydrogen production from Australia to Indonesia on a standard commercial cargo ship,” he said, adding it is an important milestone in developing Australia’s hydrogen export supply chain.

“It is significant because it will … demonstrate the inherent safety and economic competitiveness of metal hydride for hydrogen storage and transport,” he said.

Lavo CEO Alan Yu with the company’s hydrogen storage canisters.

Image: LAVO

Ground was officially broken on the Bolivar project earlier this week, with the plant expected to be operational by August with green hydrogen exports to commence later this year.

The project, partly funded by Japan’s ministry of the environment, is being developed on a site owned by the South Australia government-owned SA Water.

The South Australia government said the use of state-owned land for the project offers the potential for Marubeni to expand its capacity, dependent on future demand for hydrogen.

“South Australia is already a leader in renewable energy, which places our state in a strong position to become a global leader in green hydrogen for the long-term future,” South Australia Trade and Investment Minister Nick Champion said.

“We have a long-standing relationship with the Marubeni Corporation and its choice to establish this hydrogen facility in South Australia is no coincidence – our state has demonstrated capabilities and huge potential for expansion in this industry.”

Marubeni Chief Executive Officer Satoru Harada said this week’s ground-breaking ceremony represented a significant milestone for the company, which has interests in a wide range of sectors including metal and mineral resources, energy, construction, and automotive and industrial machinery.

“Green hydrogen has the potential to revolutionise the way we produce and use energy,” he said.

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