BlueScope and Shell Join Forces to Develop Renewable Hydrogen Projects in the Illawarra

By December 8, 2021 3   min read  (446 words)

December 8, 2021 |

Fuel Cells Works, BlueScope and Shell Join Forces to Develop Renewable Hydrogen Projects in the Illawarra

BlueScope today announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Shell Energy Operations Pty Ltd (“Shell”) to work together to explore and develop renewable hydrogen projects at BlueScope’s Port Kembla Steelworks in the Illawarra region of New South Wales, Australia.

The collaboration encompasses two projects:

  • Pilot renewable hydrogen electrolyser plant at the Port Kembla Steelworks

This initial project will investigate designing, building and operating a pilot-scale 10MW renewable hydrogen electrolyser to explore and test the use of green hydrogen in the blast furnace at BlueScope’s Port Kembla Steelworks. The ambition is to demonstrate hydrogen as a pathway towards low emissions steelmaking. The hydrogen could also potentially be used for other purposes, such as to feed a pilot direct reduced iron (DRI) plant.

  • Illawarra hydrogen hub concept

The MoU also provides for BlueScope and Shell to collaborate with other organisations to develop a “hydrogen hub” in the Illawarra. This project will explore options for hydrogen supply and offtake, renewable energy supply and hydrogen and electricity infrastructure. The project will also examine the logistics infrastructure required for a commercially viable hydrogen supply chain in the Illawarra.

The Illawarra’s diversity of sectors across industry, energy, transport infrastructure, minerals and mining, combined with research and academic partnerships, makes it well-placed for further collaborations to develop hydrogen technology and support the region’s decarbonisation efforts.

BlueScope Chief Executive, Mark Vassella, said, “we are excited about the potential for these projects and are pleased to be working with Shell which brings global expertise in developing new energy technologies, including green hydrogen.

“Any future potential hydrogen hub in the Illawarra will need broad support from governments, regulators, customers and suppliers.

“We are looking to the future; short, medium and long term and we are looking forward to seeing what a pilot hydrogen electrolyser can teach us about the production, storage and handling of hydrogen and, importantly, how hydrogen will behave in a blast furnace.

“The projects announced today demonstrate BlueScope’s commitment to taking real action on climate change,” Mr Vassella said.

Shell Australia Chairman Tony Nunan said: “Hydrogen has the potential to play a key role in decarbonising hard-to-abate sectors, many of which are central to Australia’s economic and social development. Shell looks forward to working with BlueScope and leveraging each other’s strengths and capabilities to explore the development of integrated hydrogen supply chains. Collaborations such as these are fundamental to accelerating progress towards a net-zero emissions future.”

The MoU collaboration is part of BlueScope’s previously announced climate investment program of up to $150 million over the next five years.

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