Australia selects six projects to kickstart green hydrogen industry

Article by Adam Duckett

Export opportunities eyed on path to becoming global hydrogen leader

AUSTRALIA has shortlisted six large-scale electrolysis projects under a A$2bn (US$1.32bn) scheme to decarbonise heavy industry and become a leader in green hydrogen production and exports.

The selected projects include the 1,625 MW Murchison project that would produce hydrogen for ammonia in Western Australia and the 750 MW Kepco Australia facility that again would be used for ammonia production at the Port of Newcastle in New South Wales.

The shortlisted applicants have until 27 June to submit a full application, with the government expected to announce its final decision on who gets funding from the Hydrogen Headstart programme by the end of the year.

Dan Miller, CEO of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), which is running the scheme, said: “Hydrogen Headstart is a crucial step towards keeping Australia on the path to become a global hydrogen leader, creating new export opportunities, while helping to decarbonise our economy.”

The government set tight limitations on who could apply, ruling out any hydrogen production from fossil fuels, which drew the ire of the country’s powerful coal sector. All applicant projects had to produce hydrogen entirely from electrolysis and be 100% powered by renewable energy. And they had to be at least 50 MW in capacity and located at a single site.

Governments around the world are pushing to use clean-burning hydrogen to decarbonise existing industry and take a leading position in new green technologies that can be sold globally. It can be burned to produce industrial heat or as a fuel for heavy transport, and as greener feedstock for the chemicals sector. 

This article is adapted from an earlier online version.

Article by Adam Duckett

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