The federal government is set to give up to $2.17 million to Stanwell Corporation Limited to complete a feasibility study into whether a proposed hydrogen export project for Gladstone, Queensland, is a goer.
Stanwell is conducting the study, which has a total price tag of $10.4 million, with Iwatani Corporation, the largest hydrogen supplier in Japan, in order to determine whether a hydrogen production facility can produce 36,500 tonnes of renewable hydrogen a year for export to Japan by 2026.
Scaling production up from 36,500 tonnes of renewable hydrogen by 2026 to 328,500 tonnes in 2031 is in their sights in order to meet expected Japanese demand for the resource.
Stanwell expects to be shipping the hydrogen in liquid form using ships equipped to ship liquid hydrogen.
The study into the development of a renewable hydrogen facility in Gladstone has also received investment from Kansai Electric Power Corporation, Marubeni Corporation, Kawasaki Heavy Industries and APA Group.
There has also been funding given to the Stanwell-Iwatani feasibility study by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
It is a project that is a part of the joint agreement between the governments of Australia and Japan to look at alternative sources of energy. The two governments signed a Statement of Cooperation on Hydrogen and Fuel Cells in January 2020 and they also announced a partnership on decarbonisation through technology in June this year.
Darren Miller, the chief executive officer of ARENA, said that the feasibility study offers Australia an opportunity to look at a new export commodity.
“Stanwell’s study presents a significant opportunity to accelerate the development of export opportunities for renewable hydrogen in Australia and to work with a highly credible consortium from Japan that has the potential to deliver a large-scale export project,” said Miller.
“Australia’s vast solar and wind resources and our proven ability to export energy products mean we are well placed to build a large-scale competitive hydrogen export industry in the future. Feasibility studies like this are a necessary and crucial step to build the case to attract the finance required for large impactful projects.”