Origin Energy invests US$48m into the production of hydrogen

green hydrogen could save 830 million tonnes of CO2 emitted annually
Australian energy company - Origin Energy - furthers its investment in the production of green hydrogen with US$48m in funding received from the government

Funded by the Federal Government under the Regional Hydrogen Hubs programme, Origin Energy - a leading Australian energy company - is furthering its investment in the production of green hydrogen and the development of its proposed Hunter Valley Hydrogen Hub (HVHH).

Announced by the Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Hon Chris Bowen MP the funding will support the reliable and commercial-scale green hydrogen supply chain in Newcastle’s industrial and port precinct. 

Stage one of the HVHH

Stage one of the proposed HVVH will consist of a 55MW electrolyser that will produce up to 5,500 tonnes of green hydrogen a year. The hydrogen will be generated by using recycled water and grid-connected electricity, which will be supported by the surrender of large-scale renewable certificates.

While the green hydrogen will predominantly be delivered to Orica and transport customers, the project has been designed with the potential to scale up to an export development in the future. 

“We are pleased to receive Federal Government funding to support our continued work on the Hunter Valley Hydrogen Hub, one of the leading green hydrogen projects under consideration. “Working in collaboration with Orica, we have continued to build expertise in different aspects of the hydrogen value chain needed to support the successful development of the Hunter Valley Hydrogen Hub,” said Frank Calabria, CEO of Origin Energy.

He added: “We believe hydrogen has the potential to be a new industry for Australia that could contribute to a cleaner future for manufacturing, transport, and heavy industry. There are challenges that still need to be overcome for Australia to deliver hydrogen at scale, and strong collaboration across industry, governments, and communities will be a critical factor to success.”

Location of the HVHH 

Close to Orica’s Kooragang Island ammonia manufacturing facility, the location of the HVHH will allow for efficient delivery of hydrogen to help the company decarbonise its operations. It is an ideal location for the HVHH due to its access to large energy users, skilled workers, and existing energy infrastructure.

Pending the final investment decision, Origin Energy plans to target first hydrogen production in 2026. 

What is green hydrogen?

Based on the generation of hydrogen - a light and highly reactive fuel - through a chemical process known as electrolysis. The method uses an electrical current to separate the hydrogen from the oxygen in the water. If the electricity is obtained from renewable sources, the energy can be produced without emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. It is reported by the IEA that green hydrogen could save 830 million tonnes of CO2 emitted annually when hydrogen is produced using fossil fuels.

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