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WA investing in diversified economy

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Photo by Bloomberg

18th July 2023

By: Esmarie Iannucci

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia


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PERTH ( – The Western Australian government has announced A$148-million in funding support to 40 projects across the state, as part of its plans to diversify the state’s economy.

The 40 successful recipients will receive A$148.4-million in grant funding, with projects spanning eight priority sectors: defence industries; energy; health and medical life sciences; international education; mining and mining equipment, technology and services; primary industries; space industries; and tourism, events and creative industries.

“My government is committed to securing the State's economic prosperity now, and for generations of Western Australians to come,” said Premier Roger Cook on Tuesday.

“Through the Investment Attraction Fund (IAF), we're driving a strong and diversified economy that delivers secure, quality jobs for the future.

"We're building on Western Australia's economic strengths, and embracing new and innovative industries, positioning our state at the forefront of the global energy transition. We're backing local companies to manufacture here in Western Australia, to value-add, and to take on the world in developing high-tech products for the future.”

The funding injection supports a whole array of projects across the state, including a pilot plant to produce high purity alumina (HPA) for high-tech battery cells, and establishing a renewable diesel biorefinery in Narrogin.

ASX-listed FYI Resources has been granted A$3-million in funding for its HPA project, which will support the development of a small-scale production and demonstration plant in Kwinana.

“We are very pleased to receive selection confirmation for funding by the Western Australian government under the IAF scheme,” said FYI MD Roland Hill.

“The grant will allow us to continue the development of the HPA project and the advanced and innovative technologies. FYI has demonstrated the technical viability of the HPA project and is now setting about demonstrating its commercial potential. FYI is at a crucial step in positioning as a sustainable, integrated HPA producer and the IAF funding will contribute significantly to accelerate the project development.”

Meanwhile, Infinite Green Energy has been awarded A$5-million for the development of the MEG HP1 green hydrogen project, which will be powered by renewable energy sources and will have up to 10 MW of electrolyser capacity with a nameplate production capacity of 4.4 t of hydrogen a day.

Future Energy Exports has been awarded A$15-million for its Kwinana Energy Transformation Hub (KETH) project, which will be a unique industrial-scale facility to research, test and demonstrate decarbonisation technology solutions for the energy industry.

Once fully constructed, the KETH will comprise hydrogen and gas decarbonisation facilities as a platform for the advancement of key technologies to support the energy transition. It will be a first-of-a-kind facility providing an open-access, multi-user environment for demonstrating technologies at industrially relevant scale, as well as certification of equipment and training for process operators.

Yuri Operations has also been awarded A$3-million for the development of the YURI renewable hydrogen to ammonia plant. Scheduled for completion in 2024, the first phase of the Yuri project will produce up to 640 t/y of renewable hydrogen as a zero-carbon feedstock for Yara’s ammonia production facility in Karratha.

The project will include a 10 MW electrolyser powered by 18 MW of solar photovoltaic and supported by an 8 MW battery energy storage system, generating renewable hydrogen for use in Yara's ammonia facility at Karratha.

ASX-listed VRX Silica has also been granted A$2-million for the development of a high purity quartz sand manufacturing process.

The project proposed by VRX will investigate the potential to develop a high purity quartz, or HPQ, flour manufacturing process and pilot plant in Western Australia, which if successful will lead to the development of a larger commercial plant for large-scale processing.

“This project is a consequence of the metallurgical testwork on silica sand that VRX has conducted over the last few years,” said VRX MD Bruce Maluish.

“The company has developed a thorough understanding of the characteristics of each of its deposits and how those projects can produce silica products that are most in demand. This is another opportunity to supply products into a niche market and add further value to our silica sand projects.”

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter



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