May 8 (Renewables Now) - In the coming months, BP Australia Pty Ltd will be studying the feasibility of renewable hydrogen and ammonia production in Geraldton, Western Australia with financial support from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).
The Australian Government agency said today it will provide AUD 1.71 million (USD 1.1m/EUR 1m) in funding for the AUD-4.42-million feasibility study, expected to be completed by February 2021. Its goal is to help better understand the technical and financial implications of a fully integrated renewable hydrogen supply chain. The study will also evaluate the economic opportunity presented by renewable hydrogen and determine how this can be scaled-up to meet future demand.
Under the study, BP Australia, with the help of GHD Advisory, will use electrolysis and green electricity, contracted via a power purchase agreement (PPA), to produce renewable hydrogen. This hydrogen will replace natural gas in the production of renewable ammonia.
The local unit of BP Plc (LON:BP) wants to build a plant with the capacity to produce 20,000 tonnes of renewable ammonia per year for use in Australia. It also has plans for export, leveraging existing trade relationships. Geraldton is the preferred location for the project because of the significant solar and wind resources in the area, existing port infrastructure and proximity to large Asian markets.
According to to BP, the future commercial-scale plant would require around 1.5 GW of power, to be sourced from greenfield renewable power generation.
“Early investments in feasibility studies like this will help us to realise the opportunity that renewable hydrogen represents and will ultimately help us to achieve our goal of producing renewable hydrogen and ammonia at a competitive price,” said ARENA chief executive Darren Miller.
ARENA has already committed almost AUD 28 million to hydrogen demonstration, feasibility and pilot projects, and more than AUD 22 million for hydrogen R&D.
(AUD 1 = USD 0.65/EUR 0.6)