Geraldton Export-Scale Renewable Investment

September 23rd, 2020

Geraldton Export-scale Renewable Investment

A detailed evaluation of renewable demonstration and commercial-scale ammonia production plants located in the Geraldton/Oakajee area of Western Australia, using renewable hydrogen as feedstock rather than natural gas, has been undertaken.

Main proponents:

bp Australia Pty Ltd

Main end-use classification:

Industrial process – ammonia production

Status:

Under development

Estimated cost:

Feasibility study – AUD$4.42 million

Other involvement:

 

Production details:

Hydrogen production – 4,000 tonnes per annum evaluated (demonstration scale plant)

200,000 tonnes per annum evaluated (commercial scale plant)

Location:

Western Australia, Australia

Announced funding:

AUD$1.71 million – Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA)

AUD$2.71 million – bp Australia

Project description

The project proponent has undertaken a feasibility study to assess the potential for the development of a renewable hydrogen and ammonia facility in the Geraldton/Oakajee area of Western Australia, with both demonstration and commercial scale plants investigated.

The completed feasibility study included an evaluation of different technologies and process configurations required to manufacture renewable hydrogen and ‘green’ ammonia as well as domestic and export renewable ammonia/hydrogen market potential and opportunities/barriers to scale up.

The potential demonstration plant would aim to produce approximately 4,000 tonnes per annum of renewable-based hydrogen through electrolysis. The feasibility study indicated a combination of local renewable generation and grid-sourced renewable power (via a power purchase agreement) as the preferred means of power supply to meet the project load requirement of 35.4 megawatts (MW). Primary hydrogen production would be achieved by a combination of Alkaline and PEM electrolysers.

Factors capable of supporting a commercial scale ammonia facility of up to one million tonnes of ammonia per annum for domestic and export purposes were also reviewed by the feasibility study. Load requirements for the commercial scale plant are around 1,370 MW. The commercial scale base case scenario assumes wind and solar capacity of 2,000 MW each, resulting in 77% electrolyser capacity utilisation.

The Geraldton/Oakajee area is the main study location focus due to its significant solar and wind resources, existing port infrastructure, and export market proximity.

On 11 August 2021, bp Australia announced the findings of its study into the feasibility of an export-scale green ‎hydrogen and ammonia production facility in Western Australia.

Milestones:

May 2020: ARENA announces the provision of AUD$1.71 million in funding to bp Australia to assess the feasibility of building a renewable hydrogen and ammonia production facility in Geraldton, Western Australia.

 

Updated: February 2022