On June 21, 2021, The Australian government has rejected plans for the $36 billion wind, solar and hydrogen Asian Renewable Energy Hub (AREH) project in a remote area of Western Australia. It is unclear if this will affect the Pilbara project.
The facility will be one of the world’s first industrial-scale renewable hydrogen production operations. As part of the ARENA Renewable Hydrogen Deployment Funding Round, the Australian government is providing strong support for this project with a A$42.5 million grant.
Yara, a leading global, fully-integrated producer of ammonia and crop nutrition programs for
sustainable agriculture, and ENGIE, a global low-carbon energy and services group, are codeveloping the project. The project, which builds on the Pilbara's renewable energy potential, comprises the development, construction and operation of a renewable hydrogen plant within the existing Yara Pilbara ammonia plant to deliver green ammonia to customers for decarbonising emissions from power generation, shipping, fertiliser or mining explosives.
The key elements of one of the world’s first industrial-scale renewable hydrogen projects, made
possible by the support of ARENA:
- A 10 MW electrolyser.
- An on-site facility of photovoltaic panels,
- A battery storage system that will allow the plant to operate without being connected to the
main electrical grid.
Scheduled to commence production in 2023, the first concrete phase of the project will produce up to 625 tons of renewable hydrogen and 3,700 tons of renewable ammonia per year. This initial first phase would be key to enable the facility to become the "Pilbara Hydrogen Hub", building on the existing export infrastructure.
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