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The first round of renewable hydrogen production has commenced at the Hydrogen Park South Australia (Hyp SA) during commissioning of its key component, a 1.25MW electrolyser. 

Project developer, Australian Gas Networks (AGN) – part of Australian Gas Infrastructure Group (AGIG) – has welcomed this as both AGIG and South Australia’s first ever production of renewable hydrogen, in line with their aligned vision to develop this exciting future industry.

Construction at the $11.4 million plant at the Tonsley Innovation District, which attracted a $4.9 million grant from the South Australian Government’s Renewable Technology Fund, has been underway since late 2019.

AGIG’s Chief Executive Officer, Ben Wilson, said that the milestone is particularly commendable, noting the significant efforts of all key stakeholders to progress works at site despite the challenges to travel and supply chains presented by COVID-19.

“The safe achievement of renewable hydrogen production during commissioning on site despite a sustained period of challenges during COVID-19 is a visible measure of our group’s commitment to investing in the long-term interests of our customers and the environment,” Mr Wilson said.

“I’d like to thank all of our partners for doing everything possible to ensure continued project development on site, including the installation and commissioning of the Siemens 1.25MW electrolyser by local, interstate and overseas staff.

“In consultation with our partners, the South Australian Government, construction lead Valmec, and electrolyser supplier Siemens, the challenges of COVID-19 during commissioning, with technical staff from overseas and interstate, has pushed back our schedule and we have made the decision to pause the final stages of commissioning until after the Christmas season. 

“This would allow those personnel to take time and meet any mandatory quarantine requirements to travel back home.

“This decision means we have reforecast our aim to deliver Australia’s first renewable gas blend to households from 2020 to the first quarter of 2021 and we look forward to resuming the final stages of commissioning in early 2021.”

Once operational, more than 700 residences in parts of the Adelaide suburb of Mitchell Park will be the first recipients of the plant’s blended five per cent renewable gas.

AGIG has already announced plans for a similar plant in Gladstone, Queensland; is developing detailed plans to introduce hydrogen into gas networks in both Victoria and South Australia through the Australian Hydrogen Centre; and has Western Australian Government backing to assess how hydrogen can be introduced into the AGIG-operated Dampier to Bunbury natural gas pipeline in Western Australia.

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