Global developers flock to ‘enormous potential’ of proposed green hydrogen hub in Western Australia

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Image: Toshiba Corporation.

The government of Western Australia has received 65 expressions of interest (EOI) to produce and export renewable hydrogen from a new hub that could feature up to 1,250MW of solar and 270MW of wind generation.

After releasing an EOI call in September for the hub in the Oakajee Strategic Industrial Area (SIA), the local government said it secured submissions from Australia, Japan, Korea, India, Germany, Spain, the UK, France and the US, demonstrating “strong international interest” in the state’s green hydrogen potential.

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Of the submissions, 16% indicated interest in developing and financing an entire supply chain that encompasses Oakajee as a strategic hub for the production and export of renewable hydrogen. Other parties expressed interest in supplying sections of the supply chain, including technology, water and power utilities, manufacturing components or financing.

Located 435km north of Perth, Oakajee SIA has “world-class” solar and wind energy potential, which is “ideal for the production of renewable hydrogen” for domestic and commercial use, advanced manufacturing and export, the Western Australia government said.

“The strong response to the Oakajee EOI process confirmed what we already knew about the strong global appetite for renewable hydrogen, and the enormous potential of the Mid-West region,” said the state’s regional development minister, Alannah MacTiernan.

“Global economies are hungry for clean, renewable energy, and we have the perfect mix of wind and solar potential that is the envy of the world right here in Western Australia.” 

In a separate announcement today (22 January), the Western Australia government said it will provide AU$2 million for the Yuri Green Ammonia Project, located in state’s Pilbara region, featuring solar energy to produce renewable hydrogen, which will in turn be used to produce green ammonia for export to global markets. 

The project is being co-developed by Engie and will initially feature a 10MW renewable hydrogen plant. The facility is one of four in Western Australia currently being considered for the Australian Renewable Energy Agency's AU$70 million Renewable Hydrogen Deployment Fund grants programme.

The Western Australian government last year earmarked AU$20 million in funding to boost the state’s hydrogen industry across four areas: export, use in remotely located industries, blending in natural gas networks and use in fuel cell electric transport vehicles.

Other plants that have gained traction in recent months include: the Asian Renewable Energy Hub, which will be focused on green hydrogen production and could eventually reach 26GW of solar and wind generation; and the Murchison Renewable Hydrogen Project, which is set to be powered by 5GW of solar PV and onshore wind, providing hydrogen exports to Asian markets such as Japan and South Korea.

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