Hunter Valley Hydrogen Hub
Hunter Valley Hydrogen Hub
The project proponents are progressing a large-scale renewables-based hydrogen project located in the Newcastle industrial and port precinct.
Origin Energy, Orica
|Main end-use classification:
Industrial process – ammonia production and mobility applications
Under development – project has finalised FEED studies; a final investment decision is anticipated in 2024
Approximately 4,700 tonnes of renewables-based hydrogen production per annum, based on a 50-megawatt (MW) electrolyser
New South Wales, Australia
AUD$70 million – Australian Government Regional Hydrogen Hubs Program – Hub Implementation funding stream
AUD$45 million – New South Wales Hydrogen Hubs Initiative
In February 2022, Origin Energy and Orica announced a partnership to conduct a feasibility study into the viability of a renewables-based hydrogen production facility and associated value chain project located in the Newcastle industrial and port precinct.
In July 2023, it was announced that Origin Energy was the recipient of AUD$70 million in funding (through the Australian Government’s Regional Hydrogen Hubs Program – Hub Implementation funding stream) to progress the proposed Hunter Valley Hydrogen Hub project. In addition, in September 2023, it was announced that Origin Energy was recipient of AUD$45 million in funding through the New South Wales Government’s Hydrogen Hubs Initiative to progress the project.
The initial stage of the proposed project consists of a 50-MW electrolyser, expected to produce up to 4,700 tonnes of renewables-based hydrogen per annum using recycled water and grid-connected electricity, supported by the surrender of large-scale renewable certificates or REGOs. The fundings provided by the Federal and New South Wales Governments is in support of this first stage of overall project development.
The Orica ammonia/ammonium nitrate manufacturing facility located at Kooragang Island in Newcastle is proposed to be the main offtake recipient of the produced (renewables-based) hydrogen.
A site for the hydrogen production plant and associated facilities has been secured on Kooragang Island close to the ammonia manufacturing plant. Origin has indicated it also intends to make hydrogen available for mobility applications.
The project, while having an initial domestic orientation, is being designed with the potential to be scaled up to an export development in the future.
The project completed front-end engineering design (FEED) studies in December 2023 to inform the final technical and commercial details of the development. The draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was placed on public exhibition in the fourth quarter 2023 and a response to submissions is being finalised. Planning is also underway to progress access and other approvals.
Pending a final investment decision, Origin is targeting first hydrogen production from 2026. A final investment decision is expected in CY2024.
(Note: the October 2022-23 federal budget released on 25 October 2022 included a broad support measure of AUD$100 million to support the Port of Newcastle and the Hunter region to become hydrogen-ready.)
Updated: January 2024