PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Energy major Woodside on Monday unveiled plans to establish a world-scale hydrogen and ammonia production facility in Perth.
The proposed project, named H2Perth, will be built on 130 ha of vacant industrial land to be leased from the state in the Kwinana Strategic Industrial Area and Rockingham Industry Zone.
The H2Perth project will produce low cost, low carbon hydrogen-based energy for customers, stimulate and enable increased renewable power generation in Western Australia, and support state government priorities for strategic industry creation and local manufacturing.
H2Perth is a phased development that, at full potential, will be one of the largest facilities of its kind in the world. It will produce up to 1 500 t/d of hydrogen for export in the form of ammonia and liquid hydrogen.
The first phase of the facility will include more than A$1-billion in capital expenditure. Construction is expected to create more than 2 000 jobs. Once operational, it is estimated the facility will support more than 200 ongoing local jobs.
Woodside CEO Meg O’Neill said H2Perth would be a landmark project, both for Woodside and for the state of Western Australia.
“Woodside has a proud track record as an Australian oil and gas producer and our liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports will continue helping Asia to reliably meet its energy needs while reducing greenhouse gas emissions for decades to come. Now, we intend to use our skills and financial strength to add new energy products and lower-carbon technologies and services to our portfolio, which can be scaled to meet customer demand,” she said.
“The land being leased from the state government in the Kwinana and Rockingham areas is ideally located close to existing gas, power, water and port infrastructure, as well as a skilled local residential workforce. These advantages will make a huge difference to cost of supply and schedule and help H2Perth deliver competitively priced hydrogen to customers.
“Building in this location is not just about hydrogen. H2Perth will also facilitate substantial growth of renewables in Western Australia by providing to the grid a flexible and stabilising load that benefits uptake of intermittent renewable electricity by households and local industry. We will also be supporting local manufacturing jobs and opportunities.”
Premier Mark McGowan said on Monday that the H2Perth facility was a great example of the type of renewable energy projects the state government was hoping to bring to Western Australia.
"Woodside will fully fund the construction and operation of this project to create one of the world's largest clean energy production facilities. My government will support the project by leasing Woodside approximately 130 ha of vacant industrial land in the Kwinana and Rockingham Strategic Industrial Areas.
"Making hydrogen more affordable will accelerate the uptake of clean energy, and help our State move towards a renewable energy future and net zero by 2050.
"This project will boost manufacturing in the south metropolitan region and create thousands of local jobs within the construction, manufacturing and renewable energy sectors,” the Premier said.
Hydrogen Minister Alannah MacTiernan said that the scale of the project would help secure the local manufacture of critical components, and will underpin an expansion of renewable energy on the South West Interconnected System.
"We have more than 30 hydrogen project proposals on the table here in Western Australia, and we are proud to have worked with Woodside to deliver one of the world's first major clean hydrogen production facilities in Western Australia."
O’Neill noted that H2Perth is designed to be net-zero emissions for both Woodside and its customers, supporting Woodside’s corporate emissions reduction targets and the Paris Agreement goals of customers in the region.
“We look forward to H2Perth establishing Western Australia as a global hydrogen leader, building on our state’s existing resources and capabilities and helping lead us into a lower-carbon future, something everyone can be proud of,” she said.
Woodside will now begin community engagement on the H2Perth project along with detailed progress with customers. Subject to necessary commercial and regulatory approvals, and a final investment decision, construction is estimated to start in 2024.
As well as meeting a shared goal of hydrogen export from Western Australia in the second half of the decade, Woodside aims to support state initiatives to stimulate local hydrogen demand, particularly in the transport sector and among local heavy industry. Local refuelling stations can be built independently of the export project timelines and could operate as early as 2023, subject to approvals and customer demand.