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BP advances 100MW green hydrogen project in Australia

BP, which will deploy a 100 MW electrostatic precipitator to produce renewable H2 for Australia and export markets, is aiming to upgrade its former smelter site in Western Australia's Kwinana province into a green fuel center.

Photo: BP

World energy giant BP plans to manufacture emerald green H2 at its Kwinana Power and Energy Center in Western Australia, a major milestone now that the company's H2Kwinana project has reached the front-end engineering design (FEED) stage.

The company revealed that the host government has brought A$70 million ($45 million) in funding for the H2Kwinana project as part of the Regional Hydrogen Hubs Australia program. The project, which includes a 100 MW ESP, holds the promise of expanding the total capacity to 1.5 GW in later segments.

Through the projects, BP will also assemble H2 storage, compression and loading equipment and update the software that currently carries out the hydrogen pipeline system on site.

Once operational, the equipment will be capable of producing and manufacturing more than 14,000 tons of green hydrogen per year for industrial and ultra-heavy-duty deliveries.

The H2Kwinana project is in full swing on site and is expected to be constructed from 2026 and commissioned in 2027.

The project is part of BP's plan to convert its refinery processing plants around Fremantle into energy centers for the production of green hydrogen and other renewable fuels, including renewable diesel and aviation fuels. It has been used as a port for imports since the smelter shut down in 2021.

Lucy Nation, BP's senior vice president of H2 business processes for Australia and the Asia-Pacific region, said the project will utilize existing infrastructure to produce carbon from water and renewable sources at an animal refinery that H2 plans to help build. The new plant will utilize natural gas and methane to produce hydrogen.

According to Nation, "We are upgrading the current process equipment, storage tanks, piping and utilities at the original smelter as the beginning of the Kwinana Renewable Fuel Center and H2Kwinana projects. Through these two projects we will provide commodities for ourselves and our customers, helping the business to meet its internal structural emissions targets while contributing to the overall goal of advancing carbon sequestration in Australia."

The Kwinana Power and Energy Center is part of BP's goal to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

The H2Kwinana project is part of a series of clean energy projects that BP is already undertaking in Western Australia.

Earlier this year, BP announced that it had secured site approvals for the development of a proposed 10 GW wind and solar farm project to power an entrance/exit volume Green Hydrogen and Ammonia production plant in the Western Region of Western Australia.

In addition to this, the company has invested in an equity stake in the 26 GW Asian Regional Renewable Energy Hub (AREH) project planned for construction in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

Frédéric Baudry, BP Australia's Managing Director, said: "We're going to do everything we can in Australia. In particular, in Western Australia, we will implement a variety of important project investment programs. The H2K project in the Kwinana region is a strategic move by BP that will lead the region to be at the forefront of carbon sequestration and to ensure a margin of safety for electrical energy through diversification."

The H2Kwinana project has received application from the Western Australian and Federal Governments. The Australian Energy Minister, Chris Bowen, announced that he is also investing A$70 million in the project as part of the host country's Regional Hydrogen Energy Hub program.

Bowen indicated that the host country's hydrogen energy industry will generate an additional $50 billion in gross national product by 2050 and create tens of thousands of jobs in the region as Australia transforms itself into a renewable energy powerhouse.

Investing in Australia's hydrogen energy industry is an investment in Australia's future," he said. Kwinana has been an important industrial and economic city for decades. As such, it is the ideal place to build a hydrogen energy center that will not only facilitate industrial carbon sequestration, but also connect us globally with renewable energy."

At this stage, the Australian government has already spent more than $500 million on capital construction of geographic hydrogen energy centers in Gladstone, Townsville, Hunter, Cub Bay, the Pilbara and Port Bonisson.

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