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Hunter Valley hydrogen hub gets A$70m boost

18th July 2023

By: Esmarie Iannucci

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia


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PERTH ( – The federal government will invest A$70-million to progress the Hunter Valley Hydrogen Hub (HVHH) being developed by energy major Origin and mining and infrastructure solutions provider Orica.

The first stage of the potential HVHH consists of a 55 MW electrolyser, which is expected to produce up to 5 500 t/y of green hydrogen. The intention is for the hydrogen to be generated using recycled water and grid-connected electricity, supported by the surrender of large-scale renewable certificates.

The majority of the hydrogen will be delivered to Orica, and also made available to transport customers, and the project is being designed with the potential to be scaled up to an export development in the future.

Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen said renewable hydrogen was an essential part of Australia’s renewable energy transformation.

“Investing in an Australian renewable hydrogen industry is investing in Australia’s future,” said Bowen.  

“Newcastle and the Hunter Region have been industrial and economic powerhouses for decades, making the Port of Newcastle an ideal location for a renewable hydrogen hub that can support decarbonisation of heavy industry in the region and connect our renewable resources to the world.

“This project is the next step towards using locally produced renewable hydrogen in Australia to reduce our industrial emissions and develop a renewable export future.”

Construction of the facility is targeted to begin in 2025 with operations expected to commence in 2026.

Origin CEO Frank Calabria said the company was pleased to receive federal government funding to support its continued work on the HVHH.

“Working in collaboration with Orica, we have continued to build expertise in different aspects of the hydrogen value chain needed to support successful development of the HVHH. We believe hydrogen has the potential to be a new industry for Australia that could contribute to a cleaner future for manufacturing, transport and heavy industry.

“There are challenges that still need to be overcome for Australia to deliver hydrogen at scale, and strong collaboration across industry, governments and communities will be a critical factor to success,” Calabria said.

A site has been secured close to Orica’s Kooragang Island ammonia manufacturing facility, allowing for the efficient delivery of hydrogen to help decarbonise operations. Origin also intends to make hydrogen available to transport customers through onsite and satellite refuelling stations.

The HVHH is currently progressing through front-end engineering design which will help inform the final technical and commercial details of the development. Planning is also underway to progress the required environmental approvals. 

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter


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