Manufacturing News

Australia’s first large-scale renewable hydrogen plant

Renewable hydrogen plant

One of the world’s largest renewable hydrogen plants is set to be built in the Pilbara region of Western Australia as part of the Yuri Renewable Hydrogen to Ammonia Project.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has conditionally approved $47.5 million towards ENGIE Renewables Australia’s renewable hydrogen and ammonia project under a subsidiary called Yuri.

The funding is provided by the Australian Government through ARENA’s Renewable Hydrogen Deployment Funding Round.

The project will also receive $2 million in funding from the Renewable Hydrogen Fund as part of the Western Australian Government’s Renewable Hydrogen Strategy.

The $87 million Yuri project includes a 10 megawatt (MW) electrolyser to produce renewable hydrogen, 18 MW solar PV system to power the electrolyser and 8 MW / 5 MWh lithium-ion battery for firming, and will supply hydrogen and electricity to Yara Pilbara Fertilisers at its neighbouring liquid ammonia facility.

Once completed, the project will be Australia’s largest electrolyser, capable of producing up to 640 tonnes of renewable hydrogen per year.

The project is expected to reach financial close by the end of September, and will commence construction in October and be completed by early 2024.

ARENA CEO Darren Miller said building the first hydrogen projects at scale is an important step in Australia’s journey to become a major exporter of renewable hydrogen.

“The Yuri project is Australia’s first really substantial renewable hydrogen project, and it is one of the largest so far in the world,” Miller said.

“Whether it’s for decarbonising fertiliser production, or for use as a zero emissions fuel, renewable hydrogen will be vital to reducing emissions in so called hard-to-abate sectors. It is also a huge export opportunity for Australia to provide clean energy and emissions free materials to the rest of the world.”

Miller added that the project would help understand the opportunities and challenges for producing renewable hydrogen at scale, offering valuable insights into the technical complexities, economics and supply chain considerations for future commercial scale hydrogen electrolyser projects in Australia.

ENGIE formed the subsidiary Yuri to develop the project, with agreement from Mitsui & Co. Ltd to acquire a 28 per cent stake in the subsidiary subject to satisfaction of certain conditions under its investment agreement. ENGIE and Mitsui intend to operate the Yuri project through this joint venture company.

In 2019, ARENA supported Yara with a $995,000 grant to investigate the feasibility of a renewable hydrogen and ammonia facility in the Pilbara. Positive outcomes of that study underpin the business case for the Yuri project.

ARENA has previously committed over $88 million to renewable hydrogen projects spanning feasibility studies, small scale electrolyser demonstrations, gas blending trials and vehicle deployments.

Read more about the Yuri Renewable Hydrogen to Ammonia Project here.

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