WA promotes strong renewable hydrogen message on the European stage

The Western Australian Government was proud to participate in the Energy Industries Council’s (EIC) annual Energy Exports Conference, to showcase hydrogen opportunities in the State

Charlotta Kemp by Charlotta Kemp,

The WA-focussed session at the Energy Exports Conference brought together an expert panel from across industry and government to discuss hydrogen opportunities in Western Australia (WA). Presentations from WA-based Luke Blackbourn of Yara Pilbara and EIC analyst Dr Madana Leela, provided a backdrop for the overall hydrogen sector in WA and this was followed by an informative panel discussion between Yara Pilbara, the EIC, Matt Walden from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), and representing WA Government, the Agent General Mike Deeks CSC and Chris Clark.

Mr Deeks emphasised that the WA Government had been fast to realise the opportunities ahead and subsequently set out a Renewable Hydrogen Strategy and a Roadmap for how to support the fledging renewable hydrogen sector. Together with the appointment of WA’s first Minister for Hydrogen Industries, the Hon. Alannah Mactiernan, earlier this year, this will drive WA’s position as a major producer and exporter of renewable hydrogen.

Dr Leela highlighted that WA has world-class renewable energy resources, vast land mass and proud history of exporting energy to international markets.  This positions the State as an attractive location to produce clean and competitively priced hydrogen.

Yara Pilbara highlighted that their Green Ammonia project with Engie, on the Burrup Peninsula in the Pilbara region, has received a $42.5 million grant from ARENA to use renewable hydrogen to produce ammonia at the Yara Pilbara Fertilisers site. Mr Blackbourn noted that the Pilbara region is experiencing high visibility due to its Asia-Australia export potential in a decarbonised economy. The region has also been key to driving the Australian economy during the pandemic. In other words a great location to operate projects in.

ARENA expanded on the Renewable Hydrogen Deployment Funding Round from which, $100 million funding was granted to three commercial-scale renewable hydrogen projects in Australia in May 2021.  In addition to the funding awarded to the Yara and Engie Project, another WA venture was successful in receiving a $28.7 million grant. This grant was awarded to ATCO Australia for their Clean Energy Innovation Park with plans for a 10 MW electrolyser.  With two of the three projects announced for ARENA funding located in WA, it is a strong sign of WA’s leading position in the renewable hydrogen industry.

The message to international companies was clear, a lot is happening in Western Australia with strong government support and commercial-scale projects in the pipeline in the renewable hydrogen sector. Western Australia is open for business and interested to hear from companies and investors that want to become a part of the renewable hydrogen sector.

Hydrogen in Western Australia

WA continues to prioritise strengthening relationships with international renewable hydrogen importers and in the WA Renewable Hydrogen Strategy and Roadmap, has allocated $1 million towards developing a detailed supply chain model to review potential bottlenecks and factors affecting the export industry. The WA Government is well on track to achieve its 2022 goals of:

  • A project is approved to export renewable hydrogen from WA.
  • Renewable hydrogen is being used in one remote location in WA. 
  • Renewable hydrogen is distributed in a WA gas network. 
  • A refuelling facility for hydrogen vehicles is available in WA. 

There is an exciting journey ahead as Western Australia has set up some ambitious goals to achieve by 2030:

  • WA’s market share in global hydrogen exports is similar to its share in LNG today.  
  • WA’s gas pipelines and networks contain up to 10% renewable hydrogen blend.  
  • Renewable hydrogen is used in mining haulage vehicles.  
  • Renewable hydrogen is a large fuel source for transportation in regional WA. 

If you are a European company interested in exploring the Western Australian market, or are based in WA and wanting to engage with Europe, please get in contact with Charlotta Kemp.