Having earmarked $593 million (USD 399.3 million) of public funding to build a green hydrogen power plant at Whyalla on the east coast of the Eyre Peninsula, the South Australian (SA) government said organisations from around the world have put forward a total of 29 formal proposals to build the project.
The Whyalla hydrogen plant is to comprise a 250 MW green hydrogen production facility, a 200 MW hydrogen power plant and associated storage infrastructure capable of holding 3,600 tonnes of hydrogen. The government said the design and construction of the project will help “accelerate South Australia’s green hydrogen industry, unlock the development of a $20 billion pipeline of renewable energy projects and catalyse the creation of new jobs in the supply chain industries.”
Hydrogen Power SA, the government agency looking after the taxpayer-funded project, said it initially received about 60 expressions of interest last year to build the facility and that has converted into 29 formal proposals under a tender that closed last week.
The agency said it had received responses “from organisations across Europe, north and south America and the Asia Pacific, including here in Australia, seeking to help pioneer the green hydrogen industry in South Australia.”
“The proposals tendered included representations from major renewable energy companies, equipment manufacturers and technology providers,” the agency said.
The government process is focused on the supply, construction and operation of the hydrogen plant and equipment, along with offtake agreements for the green hydrogen produced at the facility.
Hydrogen Power SA said it will now undertake an evaluation of the proposals received and expects to announce the successful party by July with the green hydrogen power plant to be operational by December 2025.
South Australia Energy Minister Koutsantonis said the facility will play a major role in the establishing the state as a significant global player in green hydrogen production and give it an early advantage in the rapidly emerging space.
“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.
The government said it has already secured land options near Whyalla for the power plant and associated green hydrogen production and storage facilities. The sites are within a 15-kilometre radius to the northeast of the city and close to critical infrastructure and transport links.
The government said the scale of the sites allow for future expansion of the scope and size of operations.
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