Port Bonython and Whyalla Hub
The conurbation of Whyalla and Port Bonython presents considerable development opportunities for hydrogen-related activities. Whyalla is a town located in the Eyre Peninsula region of South Australia and, as well as being the largest population centre in the Spencer Gulf, is one of South Australia’s largest regional cities. Port Bonython is located approximately 16 kilometres from Whyalla along the Upper Spencer Gulf and is being developed as a hydrogen export hub to support prospective hydrogen-related projects.
Whyalla is the principal centre for manufacturing, steel production and resources processing in the Upper Spencer Gulf. Whyalla is also the location of the planned South Australian Government Hydrogen Facility, a 200 MW hydrogen-fuelled power generation and hydrogen storage infrastructure project.
Port Bonython has access to an existing deep-water port that facilitates the large-scale export of liquid hydrocarbon products from the Cooper Basin oil fields, as well as access to 1,700 hectares of developable land and considerable wind and solar resources.
In May 2021, the Government of South Australia called for Expressions of Interest to develop land around Port Bonython to create a multi-user industrial and export facility, and support Government efforts in the development of a hydrogen hub at the site. Through this Expressions of Interest process, the South Australian Government has shortlisted seven projects from companies and investors to develop the land around Port Bonython. These companies would contribute to the design and implementation of common user infrastructure such as upgrades to the port, common user last mile pipelines and storage, access roads etc., in parallel with developing their own projects.
The Government has engaged a Design and Development advisor to assist with planning the establishment of a hydrogen hub at Port Bonython.
The Australian Federal Government, through the Regional Hydrogen Hubs Program – Hubs Implementation funding stream, is providing up to AUD$70 million in funding support to the South Australian Government’s Port Bonython Hydrogen Hub initiative. This grant would be matched by the South Australian Government providing AUD$30 million towards the development of a hydrogen export hub at Port Bonython, with a further AUD$40 million provided by the shortlisted project proponents.
In September 2023, in a joint release, the Australian and South Australian Governments announced they had finalised a grant agreement to develop the Port Bonython Hydrogen Hub near Whyalla. The release noted that both governments are investing AUD$100 million to develop infrastructure at Port Bonython.
Separately, the Government of South Australia has allocated AUD$32.7 million for general maintenance activities on the Port Bonython jetty, including refurbishment of key structural elements and other works to extend operational life. Additional funding is to be made available for augmentation of the Port Bonython jetty.
The South Australian Government and industry partners are developing a hydrogen hub based on common-user infrastructure at Port Bonython to support hydrogen export projects. The hub initiative includes three focus areas: jetty and associated works at the state-owned port; construction of hydrogen storage systems; and transmission, electrical and substation infrastructure upgrades.
HyResource listed projects in the Port Bonython/Whyalla region target ammonia use and power generation.
Updated: November 2023