Study proves feasibility of gas to hydrogen pipeline conversion


Laboratory testing conducted by APA, the owner and operator of the Parmelia Gas Pipeline, has successfully proved that it is technically feasible, safe and efficient to run the southern section of the pipeline at the current operating pressure using pure or blended hydrogen.

The 43km section of the pipeline being considered for conversion runs between the Kwinana Industrial Area and the Alcoa Pinjarra Refinery.

The testing was conducted as part of APA’s second phase of research into converting the section of pipeline and was partly funded with $300,000 from the Western Australian government’s Renewable Hydrogen Fund.

The WA government is investing more than $170 million to accelerate the growth of the state’s renewable hydrogen industry and meet the commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

The pressurised hydrogen testing was undertaken at Australia’ first dedicated hydrogen test laboratory at the University of Wollongong, in partnership with the Future Fuels Cooperative Research Centre.

The next phase of the project will consider preparing the pipeline for hydrogen service, including detailed conversion plans and safety studies, while continuing to investigate potential supply and offtake opportunities.

WA Trade Minister Roger Cook said “the Parmelia Gas Pipeline Hydrogen Conversion Project has the potential to be Western Australia’s next big renewable hydrogen first. The study will help in re-purposing some of our existing gas pipeline infrastructure for use in future hydrogen transmission.

“The project is a prime example of how funding from the WA government is helping to ensure that the State reaches its potential and becomes a renewable hydrogen powerhouse.

“The McGowan government is investing in projects across the renewable hydrogen supply chain to support Western Australia’s emergence as a significant producer, exporter and user of the clean energy source.”

WA Mines Minister Bill Johnston said “the results from APA’s pressurised hydrogen testing on the Parmelia Gas Pipeline is great news for the state’s renewable hydrogen industry and our transition to a sustainable, net zero economy.

“Western Australia has a vast gas pipeline network. Hydrogen blending into natural gas networks to support decarbonisation is a strategic focus area for the WA government.

“Progress continues to be made on a Renewable Hydrogen Target for Western Australia, which will aim to drive local demand and assist emerging hydrogen production projects.”