New $117m green hydrogen plant to create SA jobs

industries

A multimillion-dollar hydrogen electrolyser power plant will be constructed near Port Lincoln in South Australia, marking a ­significant indicator for the emerging hydrogen energy sector.

Hydrogen infrastructure company Hydrogen Utilit (H2U), working with German-based electrolysis and ammonia specialist Thyssenkrupp, will deliver the $117.5 million project, with the assistance of a $4.7 million grant and $7.5 million loan from the State Government’s Renewable Technology Fund.

The proposed facility will integrate a portfolio of innovative hydrogen technologies, including a 15MW electrolyser plant, a distributed ammonia production facility, a 10MW hydrogen­fired gas turbine and 5MW hydrogen fuel cell, which will both supply power to the grid.

The electrolyser plant will be one of the largest green hydrogen production facilities worldwide, and among the first ever-commercial facilities to produce distributed ammonia from intermittent renewable resources that can be used as an industrial fertiliser.

Around 30 construction and 30 ongoing jobs will be created through the project.

“More renewable energy means cheaper power and the ability to store renewables means the benefits of that cheap power can be experienced around the clock,” said South Australia treasurer Tom Koutsantonis.

“Hydrogen also offers an opportunity to create a new industry in South Australia where we can export our sun and wind resources to the world.

“South Australia is at the global forefront of a broad range of storage technology, from big batteries, to virtual power plants to pumped hydro – now we will also be home to one of the largest hydrogen production facilities in the world as well.”

Hydrogen can be produced from renewable sources such as wind or solar through a process called electrolysis.

Surplus electricity from renewable generators is used in an electrolyser to split clean water into hydrogen and oxygen.

That hydrogen can then be used to power fuel cell vehicles, make ammonia, generate electricity in a turbine or fuel cell, supply industry, or to export around the world.

“The facility will be an exemplar of the synergies associated with hydrogen,” said H2U CEO Dr Attilio Pigneri.

“It will provide balancing services to the national transmission grid, fast frequency response support to new solar plants under development in the Eyre Peninsula, supply green ammonia and other chemicals to the local farming and aquaculture sectors, and host the demonstration, at scale, of novel supply chain technologies for the export of green hydrogen from Australia to markets in the Asia-­Pacific region.

“The project will provide the perfect training ground for a new wave of green hydrogen professionals.”