Argus Media Limited

11/12/2021 | News release | Distributed by Public on 11/11/2021 18:57

Australia’s Woodside plans hydrogen venture FID in 2023

Australian independent Woodside Petroleum plans to make a final investment decision (FID) in 2023 on its proposed H2TAS hydrogen plant at Bell Bay on the island state of Tasmania.

The initial phase of H2TAS will target 200,000 t/yr of ammonia from hydropower and wind sources for export, as well as hydrogen made from renewable energy for domestic use. The initial phase would have capacity of up to 300MW of electricity, with the project having the potential to scale up to 1,700MW of renewable energy, Woodside said today. The plant is expected to take two years to build from commissioning, it added.

The update on H2TAS follows the signing of a heads of agreement in May between Woodside and Japanese trading house Marubeni and Japanese engineering firm IHI to study the production and export of ammonia from hydropower sources in Tasmania.

"The parties have completed initial feasibility studies and concluded that it is technically and commercially feasible to export ammonia to Japan from the Bell Bay area," Woodside chief executive officer Meg O'Neill said.

H2TAS is already garnering interest from existing and prospective Woodside customers in Asia and Europe, O'Neill added. Woodside has also secured land at Bell Bay to build the H2TAS project through a long-term lease at the Austrak Business Park, it said.

Tasmania is emerging as a key location for hydrogen and ammonia projects using renewable energy as the island state generates almost all of its electricity from hydropower, wind and solar sources. Tasmania has also set a target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

Tasmania plans to add further hydropower and wind capacity over the next 10 years, including the 4,800MW hydropower storage project known as Battery of the Nation and building a second power transmission link to the Australian mainland, known as the 1,500MW Marinus link. Tasmania also has some of the best wind resources in the country and the Australian government has introduced legislation to govern an offshore wind industry, which so far does not exist in Australia.

By Kevin Morrison