Mitsubishi invests in South Australian green hydrogen project

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has agreed to make a capital investment in The Hydrogen Utility (H2U), the leading Australian developer of green hydrogen and green ammonia projects.

As part of the agreement, Mitsubishi has agreed to support H2U’s projects and business development initiatives, starting with the Front-End Engineering and Design (FEED) study for the Eyre Peninsula Gateway Project.

In its demonstrator phase, the project will see a 75 MW electrolysis plant and commercial-scale ammonia plant open in Cultana. The project will later be expanded through the Export stage, increasing the production capacity from 120 tonnes per day to 2,400 tonnes per day.

Set to be the largest of its kind in Australia, the electrolyser will use water and renewable energy to produce hydrogen and combine this with nitrogen from the air to produce green ammonia. This will be used as an alternative to domestic import, and to support export market development int targeted Asian markets.

“We will start with the Demonstrator Stage, a 75MW electrolyser and a commercial-scale ammonia plant producing 40,000 tonnes of ammonia per year,” reports Dr. Attilio Pigneri, founder and CEO of H2U. “This is a win-win-win scenario for South Australia where you get more renewable energy projects off the ground, strengthen the reliability of the grid, and attract new manufacturing activities, in a virtuous cycle that can be summed up by one simple metric – more jobs.”

“Within the South Australian region of the National Electricity market, the problem has been traditionally one of managing the abundant renewable energy resource without enough industrial power loads. The production of green hydron on an industrial scale change that equation, it is a new manufacturing activity that leverages that abundance of renewable energy and in the process will stabilize the grid given the load flexibility of electrolyser technology. It is really a game-changer, making renewable energy the flywheel for a lot of new industrial and manufacturing activities.”

The Demonstrator Stage has already received financial support from the South Australian Government’s Renewable Technology fund, with a $4.7 million grant and a $7.5 million loan.

Steven Marshall, South Australia premier has said that SA’s ambition to create, use and export green hydrogen is receiving global attention, unlocking further export opportunities in key markets, boosting economic activity and creating jobs.

“My Government has also been working to assist Australian company H2U to establish connections with potential international customers, and their hydrogen project at Port Bonython is a very exciting one for South Australia,” Marshall added.

“The $240 million demonstrator phase of the project is of global significance, but it is just the precursor to a much larger production and export facility, that could see us also strengthen our energy ties with traditional trading partners.”

Tristram Travers, project executive director at H2U, said that the development of the project would help to jumpstart a global demand for green hydrogen projects.

“The Eyre Peninsula Gateway project will be the first export-oriented green hydrogen and ammonia manufacturing facility utilising 100% renewable energy and a significant step towards meeting the needs of these emerging markets,” Travers said.

“The significance of the emerging markets for green ammonia in the power generation and shipping sectors can’t be overstated, as each of these is projected to grow to several multiples of the global ammonia trade today.”

“As we bring one of the first projects globally to harness 100% renewable energy from solar and wind for the production of green ammonia, we look forward to contributing the knowledge from the Project to support the development of global certification standards to support this new trade.”


Renew Economy | South Australia backs $250m green hydrogen project to kick start exports 

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries | MHI to invest in green hydrogen and green ammonia in South Australia

Future Adelaide | Green light for hydrogen

23 December 2020

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