Australia’s Origin Energy eyes green hydrogen potential

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Australian energy provider Origin Energy is progressing green hydrogen projects with the aim to become a leading proponent in its commercialisation.

The presentation at Origin Energy’s Investor Briefing details three green hydrogen projects the company is involved in, focussed on both the domestic and export markets.

The most advanced of the three is a collaboration with Kawasaki Heavy Industries to develop an initial scale 300MW/36ktpa hydrogen export and domestic supply facility in Townsville on the north coast of Queensland. The feasibility study was completed earlier in the year and engineering design is due to commence in 2021.

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A second project for which the feasibility study is just getting underway is to develop a 500MW/420ktpa ammonia export and domestic supply facility in Tasmania’s Bell Bay. The feasibility for the Tasmania government-supported project is due to be completed by the end of 2021 and engineering design is targeted for 2022.

The third project, the Western Sydney Green Gas project, is a collaboration with eastern and northern Australia supplier Jemena to demonstrate the integration and use of green hydrogen in the New South Wales gas network. The ARENA supported initiative is due to get under way in 2021 and will see a 500kW electrolyser constructed in western Sydney which should generate enough hydrogen to power approximately 250 homes.

Australia’s potential as a supplier of renewable fuels, i.e. hydrogen and ammonia, is based on its renewable energy potential and proximity to the growing Asian markets, as well as the opportunity these offer to contribute to decarbonisation.

Origin says that participating in hydrogen is a natural extension of its core capabilities and that it is uniquely placed to deliver hydrogen at scale. Among these are its experience in operating complex facilities and in export and logistics as well as its domestic and international customer base and existing asset footprint.

“Origin adds value through access to low cost renewable power and wholesale electricity trading expertise, including demand response and grid services,” the Investor Briefing document states.

The company is collaborating with customers and technology partners and will be taking a demand led approach.

Australia’s national hydrogen strategy targets domestic and export demand of 20mtpa by 2050 and potentially up to double that volume.