Up to 100,000 tonnes of green hydrogen could be produced on the Northern Territory's Tiwi Islands for export to Asia under a new proposal by an energy company.
Key points:Global Energy Ventures reveals plans for hydrogen production and 2.8-gigawatt solar farm on Tiwi IslandsUp to 100,000 tonnes of hydrogen could be produced each yearThe hydrogen is to be exported to Asia in specially designed ships
Global Energy Ventures (GEV) has plans to construct a 2.8-gigawatt solar farm north of Pirlangimpi on Melville Island, and use the electricity generated to make hydrogen.
The hydrogen production facility will be located at Port Melville, with the gas to be shipped on specially designed compressed-hydrogen vessels to export markets in Asia.
GEV's executive director and chief development officer Garry Triglavcanin said the Tiwi Islands was chosen mainly because of its proximity to markets in Asia.
"The other key advantage of the Tiwi Islands and our compressed business model is that we can start quite small in hydrogen industry terms," Mr Triglavcanin said.
"[We could start] at, say 500 megawatts of solar generation, but the project has the ability to go up to 2.8 gigawatts to meet the regional demand for hydrogen as it grows in the future."
Project to use compressed-hydrogen ships
A key component of the plans involves specially designed ships to transport the compressed hydrogen.
The hydrogen will be compressed immediately after production and loaded onto one of GEV's ships docked at Port Melville.
"Hydrogen is a difficult gas to handle, so keeping it simple is quite important — you don't really want to double handle it," Mr Triglavcanin said.
"So, we won't have any hydrogen storage on-shore — our storage tank is the ship, and our ships will move those storage tanks back and forth between the supply and the customer."
In the project's early phase, around four ships will be used as vessels to constantly fill up, transport and offload hydrogen then return to Port Melville.
"During hydrogen production, which is during the day, there will always be a ship berthed and loading," Mr Triglavcanin said.
The ships are currently in the design phase, with GEV aiming to have the first vessels on the water in 2026.
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'Low environmental impact'
Mr Triglavcanin says the project's eventual 1,800-hectare solar farm will be located on land currently used for forestry, which is expected to be harvested in a few years' time.
"GEV has worked closely with key Tiwi stakeholders to ensure the project will have a low environmental impact on the Tiwi Islands," Mr Triglavcanin said.
The electrolysers used to produce the hydrogen will use about 0.5 megalitres of water per day, some of which will be desalinated seawater.
GEV anticipates the project will generate about 50 full-time jobs during production with more during construction.
In a statement to the ASX, NT Renewables and Energy Minister Eva Lawler said the project had the support of the NT government.
"With our world-class solar resources and our proximity to key export markets, the Northern Territory is an ideal place to generate renewable hydrogen to meet the future demand within our region," Ms Lawler said.
"We look forward to supporting GEV through our investment facilitation team to progress the project through to operation."
GEV aims to make a final investment decision on the project by 2023, with the first hydrogen exported in 2026, subject to regulatory approvals.
Posted 4 Nov 20214 Nov 2021Thu 4 Nov 2021 at 7:20pmShareCopy linkFacebookTwitterArticle share optionsShare this onFacebookTwitterLinkedInSend this byEmailMessengerCopy linkWhatsApp