Hydrogen consortium forms around Pilot's WA assets

4th November 2021 By: Esmarie Iannucci - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia

PERTH (miningweekly.com) – ASX-listed Pilot Energy and fellow-listed Warrego Energy have formed a consortium with energy infrastructure provider APA Group to study and jointly fund Pilot’s Mid West blue hydrogen and carbon capture and storage (CCS) project, in Western Australia.

The consortium will jointly fund the feasibility study, which will look at blue hydrogen technology, locations for production, and opportunities to commercialise and distribute low-cost blue hydrogen, while assessing the potential use of the Cliff Head oil project and other reservoirs across the broader Perth basin to store the carbon dioxide (CO2).

Through APA’s Pathfinder program, the study will also investigate electrifying the blue hydrogen and CO2 facilities to enable the integration of renewable energy to reduce the carbon footprint of the project.

The feasibility study is forecast to complete in the first quarter of 2022.

APA Group executive: infrastructure development Kevin Lester said the feasibility study would focus on technology, regional CCS potential and explore customer requirements to deliver low cost hydrogen.

“We are excited to continue to roll out initiatives under our Pathfinder program that can support a lower carbon future and grow opportunities for a clean hydrogen economy,” Lester said.

“We know the demand for innovative energy solutions is likely to grow exponentially as technology continues to mature and hydrogen is one example where the industry is well placed to develop and deploy low emissions technologies that we will need to accelerate the energy transition.

“Gas will be vital to supporting renewables growth and Australia’s decarbonisation pathway, but the industry also has decades of skills and capabilities in operating gas pipelines and gas power generation, which will be vital to safely and efficiently producing and transporting hydrogen and other clean molecules in the future.”

Pilot’s executive chairperson Brad Lingo said the consortium represented an exciting evolution of Pilot’s business plan with the participation of key Australian energy industry participants supporting Pilot’s feasibility studies and vision for the Mid West blue hydrogen project.

“Pilot looks forward to working with the consortium and subject to the feasibility study, progressing towards the development stage and ultimate delivering low cost and meaningful volumes of clean hydrogen into the Mid West region as part of Western Australia’s energy transition.”

Pilot has previously completed a prefeasibility screening of the CCS potential of the Cliff Head oil field, which indicated that the project could provide carbon geosequestration of some 500 000 t/y of CO2 for a 13-year period, at an injection cost of approximately A$16/t of CO2, using the existing Cliff Head oil field onshore and offshore infrastructure and be fully operational by 2025.

Warrego CEO David Biggs said on Thursday that the Mid West blue hydrogen and CCS project had the potential to deliver significant and lasting positive benefits for the energy sector in Western Australia by reducing total emissions, generating clean energy, and creating new revenue streams.

“These technologies have the potential to add considerable value to Warrego’s business in the future through the positive effects of carbon management and emissions reduction.

“We are very pleased to be partnering with APA Group and Pilot Energy to deliver the feasibility study for this exciting and innovative project.”