South Korean power giant joins 50 GW West Australia green hydrogen project


The Western Green Energy Hub consortium and Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) towards a joint development agreement for the $100 billion (USD 66.93 billion) renewable energy generation and green hydrogen production hub proposed for Western Australia’s southern coastline.

The Western Green Energy Hub (WGEH), a joint venture proposal of Hong Kong-based developer InterContinental Energy, Europe-headquartered CWP Global, and WA’s Mirning Green Energy, is slated for 15,000 square kilometres in the Goldfields-Esperance region near the South Australian border.

The proposed mega-project would include 50 GW of wind and solar energy to power electrolysers to produce green hydrogen which will be provided domestically and exported internationally as the green fuels market continues to expand.

The consortium is currently assessing wind and solar resources at the selected site with final investment decision on the project scheduled for 2027. However, the full project could take 20 years to build.

WGEH Chief Executive Officer Ray Macdonald said the MoU is a key step forward in the process of having the major project completed.

“Projects like WGEH are large and complex and bringing in KEPCO, a proven partner and developer of large-scale infrastructure projects, is invaluable,” he said. “I look forward to the collaboration in our joint goal to develop the WGEH project, as well as being a long-term supply partner to South Korea and other international markets.”

Macdonald said the new partnership “is recognition of the work done to date and, perhaps more importantly, it recognises the opportunities that lie ahead.”

InterContinental Energy said that “once at full scale, the WGEH project has the potential to produce up to 3.5 million tonnes of zero-carbon green hydrogen per year, for supply to both domestic and international customers, including South Korea.”

KEPCO Vice President Chanhyuk Chun said the WGEH project feeds into the utility’s ambition to add large-scale clean hydrogen and ammonia projects that could export large volumes to South Korea for power generation to its business portfolio.

“We are very excited by what we see with the WGEH project, which is ideally located in an area of impressive wind and solar resource, enabling very large-scale green power generation and sizeable potential green hydrogen and ammonia offtake opportunities,” he said.

KEPCO, which is majority owned by the South Korean government, expects it will rely increasingly on green ammonia produced by green hydrogen for power generation purposes and has estimated it could use 5-10 million tonnes per year by 2030.

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