New Oz Bill to Promote Hydrogen Industry: Minister
New legislation passed through parliament this week will help lay the foundation of a new hydrogen industry in Australia, minister for resources, water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt said in a statement on May 15.
The Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (OPGGS) Amendment Bills amending the OPGGS Act 2006 were approved by the senate and are now awaiting royal assent. Pitt said the passage of the bills could pave the way for the development of an important new Australian resources industry.
“The abundant brown coal resources of the Latrobe Valley are ideal feedstock for one of the world’s first hydrogen export industries based on coal, generating new jobs and business opportunities in a regional area that has been suffering with the closure of the Hazelwood power station,” Pitt said.
He said the CarbonNet project will provide the required carbon capture and storage (CSS) for the development of the low emissions hydrogen energy supply chain project. CarbonNet has been investigating the feasibility for a commercial-scale, multi-user CCS network in Gippsland, Victoria, and the bills that passed through parliament removes one of the technical issues around the project.
“A proposed site straddles the boundary of state and Commonwealth waters and the bill amends and clarifies the regulatory framework to help unlock the development of more projects in the Latrobe Valley – providing a cost effective pathway to low emissions,” Pitt said. “As Australia emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic and begins the process of economic recovery, it’s even more crucial that we ensure that our regulatory approvals support, not hinder, major projects. These amendments achieve that.”
Amendments in the bill will also provide stronger powers to the National Offshore Petroleum Safety Environmental Management Authority to fully respond in the event of an oil spill that crosses into state waters.
BP invests in green hydrogen
UK major BP announcing May 8 a feasibility study into an export-scale renewable hydrogen production facility in Western Australia, a region with good wind and solar potential and ports. BP will initially invest A$2.7 ($1.72)mn, with a further A$1.7mn being funded by Australian Renewable Energy Agency (Arena) as part of its Advancing Renewables Program.
BP said the feasibility study will deliver a detailed techno-economic evaluation of pilot and commercial scale green ammonia production plants in Geraldton. This will include an evaluation of the different technologies and process configurations required to manufacture green hydrogen and green ammonia using 1.5 GW of renewable power.
The potential pilot plant will look to produce green hydrogen. This will then be converted into around 20 kilotons/yr of green ammonia. Once developed to commercial scale, this is expected to increase to around 1,000 kt/yr of green ammonia, targeted at domestic and export markets.