Woodside Energy competes with FFI to lead green H2 project in New Zealand

The Manapōuri Power Station in Southland, New Zealand. Source: Southern Green Hydrogen.

June 20 (Renewables Now) - Woodside Energy Group Ltd (ASX:WDS) and Fortescue Future Industries (FFI), both based in Australia, are the two finalists in the competitive process to select the lead developer of the Southern Green Hydrogen project in New Zealand.

Woodside Energy and the green energy business of mining giant Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (ASX:FMG) are now expected to make more detailed proposals by the end of August so that the final selection can be unveiled soon after, according to an announcement on Monday.

Southern Green Hydrogen is a joint project in Southland, New Zealand, by two competitors in the local market, namely Meridian Energy Ltd (NZE:MEL) and Contact Energy Ltd (NZE:CEN). The project revolves around the evaluation of the opportunity to produce green hydrogen in the area.

A total of four participants in the competitive process were engaged in a request for proposals (RFP) earlier this year to identify early-stage business plans and cases for a 600-MW production facility in Southland. A Japanese consortium of Mitsui & Co Ltd and Eneos, as well as gases and engineering specialist BOC, which is a Linde company, were the two participants that got eliminated in the prior round.

“This is a complex project in a relatively new global market, and both the final counterparties have given us confidence that an economic project is achievable. Both have demonstrated that global markets for green hydrogen and green ammonia are imminent, and both are engaged in discussions with customers about buying the large volumes that the Southland plant will produce,” said Neal Barclay, CEO of Meridian Energy.

Contact Energy’s own CEO, Mike Fuge, noted that both Woodside Energy and FFI have mapped realistic pathways for taking the project to commercial operation.

Murihiku Regeneration, representing both Murihiku Runaka and Ngai Tahu interests, will take part in the next stage of the process to make sure that the best possible outcome is achieved for both the community and the nation as a whole.

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