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Origin Energy is set to perform a $3.2 million feasibility study into building an export-scale green hydrogen and ammonia plant, to be located in Tasmania’s Bell Bay. 

Under the proposal, green hydrogen will be produced from sustainable water using renewable energy. The hydrogen will then be combined with nitrogen extracted from the air to create green ammonia, which can be safely and efficiently shipped to export markets. 

The plant, which would have a capacity greater than 500MW, would produce more than 420,000 tonnes of zero-emissions ammonia per year.

Potential uses for the hydrogen and ammonia include electricity generation and as transportation fuel. Some of the hydrogen produced will be made available domestically to support Tasmania’s decarbonisation ambitions. If the project were to proceed, first production of green ammonia is targeted for the mid-2020s.

Origin General Manager of Future Fuels, Felicity Underhill, said, “We are excited to be partnering with the Tasmanian Government on this groundbreaking plan to use 100 per cent renewable energy and sustainable water to power one of the world’s first export-scale green hydrogen and ammonia plants.

“Hydrogen produced from renewable energy has tremendous potential to support decarbonisation in Australia and overseas because it is one of the most abundant elements in the universe and can be produced with zero emissions.

“Origin has been exploring how hydrogen can best fit into Australia’s energy system and is progressing a number of opportunities.

“As an integrated energy company operating in key parts of the value chain, Origin is ideally placed to develop large-scale green hydrogen and ammonia projects and connect them to markets, either to stimulate a domestic hydrogen economy or to enable the export of energy produced from renewable sources.”

The study will be part-funded by a $1.6 million grant from the Tasmania Government – which is investing $ 2.6 million to investigate the feasibility of three large-scale renewable hydrogen projects in Tasmania.

The feasibility studies are funded under the State Government’s $50 million Tasmanian Renewable Hydrogen Industry Development Funding Program, which forms the backbone of its Tasmanian Renewable Hydrogen Action Plan.

The other two studies that will be funded under the $2.6 million investment are:

  • ABEL Energy’s 100MW green hydrogen and methanol for export project at the Bell Bay Advanced Manufacturing Zone
  • Grange Resources’ 90-100MW renewable hydrogen project to provide process heat at its Port Latta facility

Origin Energy’s feasibility study is expected to be completed by December 2021.

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