Origin Energy’s export-scale liquid hydrogen project has reached an important milestone today, with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Port of Townsville to work on the potential expansion of the port, as well as the development of a liquefaction facility, new berth and associated infrastructure.
Origin is collaborating with Japan’s Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd (KHI) on a 300 megawatt (MW) early export project that would produce 36,500 tonnes per annum of green liquid hydrogen using renewable energy and sustainable water.
The three parties will now focus on work required to accommodate KHI’s semi-commercial scale liquid hydrogen carriers, currently under development, future project expansion opportunities, and potential for sharing of common infrastructure with other Port of Townsville users. First export from the project is targeted from the mid-2020s.
Origin Energy’s General Manager Future Fuels, Felicity Underhill, said Townsville is ideally placed to develop a liquid hydrogen facility due to its deep-water port, industrial-zoned land, availability of skilled workers and nearby renewable energy and sustainable water resources.
“Townsville has the potential to become a leading global hub for hydrogen exports, boosting local jobs, as well as supporting local industry and transport to decarbonise,” she said.
“There will be significant export demand for green hydrogen coming from Asia in the 2030s and even sooner from Japan in the mid-2020s and our proximity to these markets and abundance of clean renewable resources puts Australia in pole position to be a global leader in hydrogen.”
Ms Underhill said this is one of the most advanced commercial-scale green liquid hydrogen projects in the world, and the company and its partners are looking forward to commencing front end engineering and design (FEED) this calendar year.
“Origin’s MOU with the Port of Townsville is an important and exciting next step in the process,” Ms Underhill said.
Port of Townsville Chair, Renita Garard, added that Townsville is a world-class location for renewable hydrogen production with significant export potential to close Asian markets.
“This is an extremely exciting project to be part of as the global demand for hydrogen is gaining momentum every day,” she said.
“Townsville enjoys more than 320 days of sunshine and the region has several established renewable energy developments with the renewable energy potential and regional partners progressing new hydrogen technology every day.”