Western Australia

Western Australia – Hydrogen Industry Policy Initiatives

On 18 July 2019, the Minister for Regional Development:

On 17 August 2020, the Government announced nine initiatives worth AUD$22 million to accelerate the future of renewable hydrogen in Western Australia, and bringing forward the 2040 goals to 2030 as part of the Western Australian government’s COVID-19 Recovery Plan.

WA hydrogen reportWestern Australian Renewable Hydrogen Strategy and Roadmap

The Strategy outlines four Strategic Focus Areas for hydrogen industry investment in Western Australia:

  • Export
  • Remote applications
  • Hydrogen blending in natural gas networks
  • Transport

The Vision is that “Western Australia will be a significant producer, exporter and user of renewable hydrogen”.

The Goals of the Strategy are:

By 2022:

  • A project is approved to export renewable hydrogen from Western Australia
  • Renewable hydrogen is being used in one remote location in Western Australia
  • Renewable hydrogen is distributed in a Western Australian gas network
  • A refuelling facility for hydrogen vehicles is available in Western Australia

By 2030 (originally 2040, reset to 2030 as per 17 August 2020 announcement):

  • Western Australia’s market share in global hydrogen exports is similar to its share in LNG today
  • Western Australia’s gas pipelines and networks contain up to 10 per cent renewable hydrogen blend
  • Renewable hydrogen is used in mining haulage vehicles
  • Renewable hydrogen is a large fuel source for transportation in regional Western Australia

A Mission Update 2022 Western Australian Renewable Hydrogen Strategy report was released in December 2022.

Launched in November 2020, the Western Australian Renewable Hydrogen Roadmap outlines the projects and initiatives the Western Australian government is employing to achieve the objectives of the Western Australian Renewable Hydrogen Strategy, and is updated on an annual basis.

Renewable Hydrogen Fund

On 18 September 2019, the AUD$10 million Renewable Hydrogen Fund was ‘opened’ for applications seeking support for feasibility studies or capital work projects (applications closed 30 October 2019).

On 8 January 2020, the Government announced the results of the feasibility study applications, where a total of approximately AUD$1.7 million was allocated to seven successful applicants.

The 17 August 2020 announcement of nine funding initiatives (noted earlier) included an allocation of AUD$5 million in funding to a second round of the Renewable Hydrogen Fund and announced three successful capital works projects from the first round of the Fund, with AUD$4 million allocated across the projects.

On 22 January 2021, the Government announced:

  • A fourth capital works funding grant (of AUD$2 million) from the first round of the Fund (subject to conditions, including the project reaching a final investment decision)
  • The opening of the second round of the Renewable Hydrogen Fund, with up to AUD$5 million available to support renewable hydrogen projects (applications under Round 2 of the Fund closed on 26 March 2021).

Also in January 2021, the Government announced that 65 expressions of interest (EOI) had been received to produce and export renewable hydrogen at the Greenfields Oakajee Strategic Industrial Area (SIA) located 23 kilometres north of Geraldton – this in response to a global call for EOI issued in September 2020. Initial assessments indicate the Oakajee SIA buffer area could generate up to 270 megawatts of wind power and 1,250 megawatts of solar renewable energy.

In early May 2021, upon conclusion of ARENA’s Renewable Hydrogen Deployment Funding Round, the Yara-ENGIE Pilbara Renewable Ammonia ‘YURI’ project received a conditional funding award of AUD$42.5 million towards a 10 MW electrolyser to produce renewable hydrogen at an existing ammonia facility in the Pilbara region while ATCO’s Clean Energy Innovation Park (located at Warradarge in the mid-west region of Western Australia) received a conditional funding award of AUD$28.7 million towards a 10 MW electrolyser for gas blending purposes. In September 2022, ENGIE announced a positive final investment decision for the Yuri project with ARENA funding of AUD$47.5 million.

Both projects were successful recipients of funding grants through Round 1 of the Western Australian Government’s Renewable Hydrogen Fund. Yara-ENGIE’s YURI project received a (conditional) AUD$2 million capital works funding grant, and ATCO received AUD$375,000 to support a detailed feasibility study for the Clean Energy Innovation Park.

In September 2021, as part of the communications process for the state’s 2021-22 budget, several hydrogen-related initiatives were announced in a joint release by the Premier and Minister for Regional Development; Agriculture and Food; Hydrogen Industry, including:

  • A new AUD$50 million fund to support renewable hydrogen industry development (to stimulate local demand for renewable hydrogen in transport and industrial settings and to drive investment into renewable hydrogen)
  • AUD$7.5 million to ‘kick-start’ development of the Oakajee Strategic Industrial Area (SIA) as a key component of the Mid West Hydrogen Hub (through access road construction)
  • Additional AUD$4 million to bolster the Renewable Hydrogen Unit within the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation and to progress Mid-west hydrogen activation (including developing a plan for the activation of Oakajee and for additional infrastructure requirements).

During August/September 2021, funding announcements under Round 2 of the Renewable Hydrogen Fund were made covering three feasibility studies (grants totalling AUD$900,000) and one capital works grant (for AUD$1.97 million).

In October 2021, the Western Australian Government announced investment of an initial AUD$10 million for the Hydrogen Fuelled Transport Program. The program provides financial support to a project that includes the procurement and operation of hydrogen or green ammonia fuelled transport, and the installation of one or more refuelling stations. The program is part of the above noted AUD$50 million fund included in the 2021-22 State Budget to support renewable hydrogen development in Western Australia. In August 2022, Woodside Energy’s Hydrogen Refueller H2Perth project was announced as the successful proponent.

In November 2021, the Western Australian Government announced that it would invest AUD$117.5 million to attract Federal funding for renewable hydrogen hubs in the Pilbara and Mid-West regions, noting that the State had lodged applications through the Commonwealth Government’s Clean Hydrogen Industrial Hubs program for matching Commonwealth funding to develop hubs in the Pilbara and Mid-West. In October 2022, the Western Australian Government announced a commitment of AUD$5.5 million for several new planning works and studies in support of development of the Mid West Hydrogen Hub.

In November 2021, the Western Australian Government and the Port of Rotterdam signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work together to investigate the renewable hydrogen export supply chain between Western Australia and the Port of Rotterdam, including production, storage, transport and the use of renewable hydrogen, as well as collaborating on opportunities for knowledge sharing relating to policy, regulation and technology developments.

In January 2022, the Western Australian Government released the Stage 1 report of its study into the hydrogen storage potential of depleted oil and gas fields in the state. The report identifies seven onshore fields as good candidates for hydrogen storage projects; the results will inform Stage 2 of the study, which will involve 3D modelling of a small section of the candidate fields identified in Stage 1.

In October 2022, the Western Australian Government announced a funding contribution of AUD$225,000 in support of a study (full cost AUD$450,000), through a partnership with ITM Power and Linde Engineering, to develop a business case for the manufacture of hydrogen electrolysers within the State.

The October 2022-2023 federal budget released on 25 October 2022 confirmed several funding awards to Western Australian based projects via the Commonwealth Government’s Regional Hydrogen Hubs Program:

Hub Implementation Grants

  • bp Australia’s H2Kwinana Clean Hydrogen Industrial Hub – up to AUD$70 million
  • Western Australian Government’s Pilbara Hydrogen Hub – up to AUD$70 million

Hub Development and Design Grants

  • ENGIE Pilbara Green Hydrogen Hub – up to AUD$3 million
  • Santos Carnarvon Clean Hydrogen Front End Engineering Design – up to AUD$3 million

In December 2022, the Western Australian Government:

  • Announced, following stakeholder consultation, that the Government would progress to the detailed design phase of a Renewable Hydrogen Target for electricity generation in the South West Interconnected System (SWIS) based on a one per cent target. A complementary, broader Renewable Hydrogen Target scheme under development would consider all potential use cases for renewable hydrogen, including transport, industrial feedstock, electricity generation, and pipeline blending.
  • Announced a trilateral study including the Western Australian Government, the Netherlands’ Port of Rotterdam and the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) to investigate fast tracking renewable hydrogen exports from the Oakajee SIA to the Netherlands and Germany. The Western Australian Government would invest AUD$500,000 in the study, with the Port of Rotterdam allocating €250,000, and the BMBF intending to contribute with up to €500,000.
  • Announced the release of the Draft Petroleum Legislation Amendment Bill (No.2 2022) for consultation; amongst other things, the Bill would enable the exploration and production of naturally occurring hydrogen.
  • Released the document ‘Western Australian Renewable Hydrogen Guidance: Land tenure for large scale renewable hydrogen projects’ to provide certainty and clarity for renewable hydrogen project proponents in seeking to gain access to land and legal tenure for projects.
  • Released the Mission Update 2022 Western Australian Renewable Hydrogen Strategy report.

In January 2023, the Western Australian Government announced that its Industrial Lands Panel had approved allocations of land for seven projects in the Boodarie and Ashburton North Strategic Industrial Areas (SIAs). These projects across the two SIAs are evaluating delivery of a range of products including ammonia, methanol, green iron ore, and hydrogen.

Further information is here or by emailing: hydrogen@jtsi.wa.gov.au


Updated: January 2023