An Australian-South Korean consortium has moved forward with its plans to build a massive green hydrogen and ammonia export project in Western Australia (WA), after it brokered a preliminary land deal for the project with the regional government.
Australia’s Progressive Green Solutions (PGS), state-owned utility Korean Midland Power Co (Komipo) and Samsung want to build the plant on the Narngulu Industrial Estate owned by the state’s land development agency DevelopmentWA, 400km north of Perth near of the coastal town of Geraldton.
Local reports have suggested that the project will cost $10bn, although it is not clear whether this has been calculated in Australian or US dollars ($6.6bn).
The project will encompass 4GW of renewable power — possibly wind power with turbines from German wind OEM and PGS partner Enercon — as well as an electrolyser of an undisclosed size provided by a US supplier.
Exports to South Korea will begin in 2027, with the aim of decarbonising the country’s power assets, the WA government said, implying that Komipo will be buying some or all of the product.
PGS managing director James Rhee told Australian website Renew Economy that a final investment decision on the project can be expected in 2024, with first hydrogen production of 200,000 tonnes in 2027 and exports of green ammonia beginning in 2029.
If realised, the project will ultimately produce one million tonnes of green ammonia per year.
The Geraldton region has good wind speeds of around 7-8 metres per second, according to the Global Wind Atlas.
Both parties have now entered a period of exclusive negotiation in order to finalise the deal, the government of WA said in a statement.
“Western Australia is perfectly positioned to provide the land, infrastructure and skills required to develop large scale renewable hydrogen and green ammonia projects,” said WA’s energy minister Bill Johnston.
“With its exceptional renewable energy resources, the Mid-West [of Western Australia] is attracting significant global interest and investments from markets such as South Korea, Japan and Europe, seeking to support the decarbonisation of their economies.”
Together, Komipo and Samsung form the second batch of South Korean companies looking to invest in green hydrogen and ammonia in Western Australia, following Kepco’s entry into the 3.5 million-tonne $100bn Western Green Energy Hub.
The WA government is also hoping to set up a hydrogen hub in Oakajee Strategic Industrial Area (SIA), north of Geraldton, for which Fortescue has been allocated land, alongside BP and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners.