Australia’s Woodside to build large hydrogen plant in Perth

Australian LNG player Woodside has revealed plans to build a large hydrogen and ammonia production facility at a site in Perth.

Woodside, with the support of the government of Western Australia, would invest about $1 billion ($750 million) in the proposed facility, the WA government said in a statement.

It would build the proposed project, named H2Perth, on about 130 hectares of vacant industrial land in the Kwinana Strategic Industrial Area and Rockingham Industry Zone. The state would lease the land to the firm.

In a separate statement, Woodside said it would build the project in phases.

H2Perth would produce hydrogen and ammonia using both electrolysis technologies and natural gas reforming, with 100 percent of carbon emissions abated or offset, Woodside said.

The electrolysis component of H2Perth’s production will have an initial capacity of 250 megawatts, with potential to scale to more than 3 gigawatts alongside both customer demand and renewable energy growth.

Moreover, the initial phase of the steam methane reformer will consume 40 terajoules per day of natural gas.

Initially, H2Perth will target 300 tpd of hydrogen production, or 20 percent of expected total capacity. Woodside said it can convert this into 600,000 tonnes per annum of ammonia or 110,000 tpa of liquid hydrogen.

At full potential, the project would be one of the largest facilities of its kind in the
world, according to Woodside.

As well as meeting a shared goal of hydrogen export from WA in the second half of the decade, Woodside aims to support state initiatives to stimulate local hydrogen demand, particularly in the transport sector and among local heavy industry.

Woodside said local refueling stations can be built independently of the export project timelines and could operate as early as 2023, subject to approvals and customer demand.

Construction to start in 2024

Chief executive Meg O’Neill said H2Perth would be a “landmark” project, both for Woodside and for Western Australia.

“Woodside has a proud track record as an Australian oil and gas producer and our LNG exports will continue helping Asia to reliably meet its energy needs while reducing greenhouse gas emissions for decades to come,” O’Neill said.

“Now, we intend to use our skills and financial strength to add new energy products and lower-carbon technologies and services to our portfolio, which can be scaled to meet customer demand,” she said.

O’Neill said the land in the Kwinana and Rockingham areas is located close to existing gas, power, water and port infrastructure, as well as a skilled local residential workforce.

These advantages would make a “huge difference” to cost of supply and schedule and help H2Perth deliver “competitively priced” hydrogen to customers.

“Building in this location is not just about hydrogen. H2Perth will also facilitate substantial growth of renewables in Western Australia by providing to the grid a flexible and stabilizing load that benefits uptake of intermittent renewable electricity by households and local industry,” O’Neill said.

Woodside said it would now begin community engagement on the H2Perth project along with detailed progress with customers.

Subject to necessary commercial and regulatory approvals, and a final investment decision,
Woodside expects to start construction in 2024.

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