A new $50 million fund is being established in Western Australia to stimulate local demand for the renewable hydrogen in industrial and transport settings. The state government is driving an additional $61.5 million investment to advance this growing industry.
“Hydrogen offers incredible potential for our state, with the capacity to sit alongside iron ore or LNG as a major export commodity – supporting local jobs and delivering wealth for all Western Australians,” WA premier Mark McGowan said.
“This $61.5 million initiative will attract investment, support work to grow a local hydrogen production industry and drive local demand for hydrogen – delivering local economic benefits and helping WA meet its emissions reductions targets.”
In moving towards a low-carbon future, the 2021-22 state Budget also includes funding to develop and upgrade infrastructure at the Oakajee Strategic Industrial Area (SIA). This will establish a major renewable hydrogen hub in the mid-west.
An additional $4 million will be directed towards developing the plan for activation of Oakajee and for additional infrastructure requirements.
The new funding commitment comes as three industry-led feasibility studies regarding hydrogen projects in Western Australia begin. The studies, supported by the state’s existing $15 million Renewable Hydrogen Fund, include projects in both metropolitan and regional WA.
“Renewable hydrogen presents a big opportunity for industries right across WA to reduce their emissions and embrace a cleaner future, and our funding commitment to demand stimulation will help companies take that leap,” Hydrogen Industry minister Alannah MacTiernan said.
One particular area is better situated to developing the industry.
“Western Australia’s strategic industrial land is well suited to developing the renewable hydrogen industry, particularly in the Kwinana Industrial Area,” Kwinana MLA Roger Cook said.
BP Australia will receive $300,000 to progress their Kwinana Clean Fuels Hub proposal, which will see their existing Kwinana refinery facility used for green hydrogen and clean fuel production.
“BP’s proposal to convert the old Kwinana oil refinery into a green hydrogen hub will help to revitalise Kwinana and bring this facility into a low-emissions future,” MacTiernan said.
Two feasibility studies will examine technologies and capabilities to support the transport of renewable hydrogen.
APT Management Services will receive $300,000 to study the conversion of the Parmelia gas pipeline into a 100 per cent hydrogen pipeline.
Global Energy Ventures will receive $300,000 to evaluate the technical and commercial feasibility of exporting green hydrogen to the Asia-Pacific from the Gascoyne, using a compressed hydrogen shipping solution.
“We’ve seen real success off the back of previously-funded studies – including our $375,000 investment into feasibility of ATCO’s Clean Energy Innovation Park in early 2020, which went on to secure a $28.7 million Australian Renewable Energy Agency grant,” MacTiernan said.
More information on the Renewable Hydrogen Fund is available at http://www.wa.gov.au/government/publications/western-australian-renewable-hydrogen-fund.