ABEL Energy Bell Bay Powerfuels Project

November 23rd, 2023

ABEL Energy Bell Bay Powerfuels Project

A feasibility study has been undertaken to assess the potential for developing a large-scale, renewables-based hydrogen and e-methanol facility at Bell Bay in Tasmania.

Main proponents:

ABEL Energy

Main end-use classification:

Export potential: industrial process – methanol production

Domestic use


Under development

Estimated cost:

(Feasibility study)
AUD$1.3 million

(Full scale)
AUD$1.4 billion

Other involvement:

Iberdrola Australia


Production details:

240 MW electrolyser: approximately 105 tonnes per day hydrogen production capacity


Tasmania, Australia

Announced funding:

(Feasibility study) AUD$555,000 – Tasmanian Renewable Hydrogen Fund

Project description

The project proponent is developing a large-scale, renewables-based hydrogen and hybrid e-methanol facility at the Bell Bay Advanced Manufacturing Zone in Tasmania. The project would deploy biomass gasification of plantation forestry residues in conjunction with water electrolysis to produce approximately 300,000 tonnes per annum green methanol.  Direct capture of CO2 from the atmosphere will also be assessed.

The project would deploy a 240-megawatt (MW) electrolysis plant at full scale to produce renewables-based hydrogen, part of which would be available for domestic consumption though the majority of hydrogen produced would act as feedstock (along with syngas) to enable renewables-based production of methanol, for both domestic and international customers.

The energy supply for the electrolysis plant would be through hydro and approximately 700 MW new build wind-based power supply sources.

In June 2023, it was announced that Hydro Tasmania had signed a term sheet with Bell Bay Powerfuels for the sale of the decommissioned Bell Bay Power Station, following an Expression of Interest process launched by Hydro Tasmania in December 2022.

The site has its own deep-water berth, which is still in place, and would be used by the project for the planned export of green methanol. The power station will otherwise be demolished though some of the other existing structures may be retained and repurposed.  The project will also require the development of new power generation assets, to provide sufficient renewable power for the proposed electrolyser capacities.

In November 2023, ABEL Energy announced the selection of Johnson Matthey as the methanol synthesis technology and catalyst supplier and the selection of SunGas Renewables as provider of the biomass gasification technology.

With the site selection process progressing, the project proponent anticipates beginning front-end engineering design (FEED) studies in late 2023.

The project anticipates operations to commence around the 2027 timeframe.

Total project capital cost at full scale of 300,000 tonnes methanol production per annum / 240 MW electrolysis capacity is reported at AUD$1.4 billion.


November 2020: The feasibility study for this project is one of three feasibility studies to which funds were allocated in November 2020 by the Tasmanian Government under its AUD$20 million Tasmanian Renewable Hydrogen Fund (part of the wider AUD$50 million Tasmanian Renewable Hydrogen Industry Development Funding Program).

July 2022: ABEL Energy Knowledge Sharing Report released – this report investigated the feasibility of a 100 MW electrolyser plant to produce renewables-based green hydrogen and methanol at Bell Bay for domestic and export use

December 2022: Announcement by Iberdrola Australia and hydrogen developer ABEL Energy that they will be working together to deliver a green hydrogen and green methanol production facility at Bell Bay, in Northern Tasmania.  The scale of the Bell Bay Powerfuels Project is at 200,000 tonnes per year of green methanol for Stage One, with Stage Two increasing capacity to 300,000 tonnes per year.

June 2023: Announcement that Hydro Tasmania had signed a term sheet with Bell Bay Powerfuels for the sale of the decommissioned Bell Bay Power Station.

November 2023; Announcement of selection of methanol synthesis and biomass gasification technology providers.


Updated: November 2023