Infinite Blue Energy and Port Anthony Renewables have agreed to a partnership that will culminate in the development and construction of a world-leading green hydrogen facility in Victoria.
The two companies are coming together in a joint venture that will build and develop Australia’s first independently owned commercial large-scale hydrogen production facility on the country’s East Coast.
The facility will be located at Port Anthony, less than 200km east of the Victorian capital of Melbourne.
“Our vision is to establish IBE as a leader in the green hydrogen sector and elevate Australia on the global stage by demonstrating the country has the technology, skills and entrepreneurial mindset to be ahead of the pack in the development of green hydrogen projects,” Infinite Blue Energy managing director Stephen Gauld said.
“We are establishing projects and partnerships and are extraordinarily pleased to announce this joint venture with Port Anthony Renewables. In addition to focusing on the export markets we believe that the initial offtakes will focus on facilitating the decarbonisation of the road and freight networks.
“This project links our foundation work at Arrowsmith (WA) and fuses the national heavy freight networks and developments in Western Australia with the transport network in Victoria.”
Victoria has all the right elements for establishing a renewable hydrogen economy – solar, wind, hydroelectricity, education, deep water port, initial hydrogen technology cluster, freight route and gas and electricity networks.
And Port Anthony is the ideal location.
“Steeped in heavy industry, the Port Anthony site and the immediate area has historically provided direct employment for many hundreds of people, and the result is a region boasting extensive wealth of knowledge, people with expertise and the fortitude to provide benefits to the state of Victoria and Australia as a whole – as they have proven to do so in the past,” Port Anthony Renewables executive chairman Ben Anthony said.
With energy demand increasing due to the rising world population and economic growth, climate change has become an urgent issue and clean green energy has become a major focus of Australia’s federal and state governments, which have all launched their own hydrogen strategies.
“In terms of Port Anthony Renewable’s hydrogen projects, the level of cohesion with Victoria’s energy infrastructure planning is remarkable,” Anthony said.
“As the production levels in Bass Strait have declined over the years, (and the offshore infrastructure has gotten even older) the traditional energy sector is entering into an extended period of planned decommissioning of the aging infrastructure associated with the south eastern oil and gas industry.
“Through this exciting partnership with IBE, the Arrowsmith Southeast project will be renowned as a global industry leading showcase – our hydrogen activities represent what is essentially a new age handover – from traditional high carbon industry to technologically advanced, decarbonised green sustainability.
“As part of this handover, the region will continue to play its important role in supporting Victoria’s needs whilst completely decarbonising existing activities that have long been a cornerstone of this region.”
Victorian blueprint paves way for thriving hydrogen hub
The Victorian government has launched its Victorian Renewable Hydrogen Industry Development Plan, mapping out how it will drive the development of the thriving renewable hydrogen economy in the state.
The focus is on the creation of long-term jobs, export of renewable energy, driving innovation, building the state’s skills and capacity in renewable hydrogen and reducing greenhouse gas emissions across the industrial, energy and transport sectors.
Deloitte forecasts the global market for hydrogen will rise at a compound annual growth rate of 5.8 per cent to $US180.2bn by 2025.
Around 45 per cent, or 49.7 million tonnes of hydrogen, of total forecasted production is set to come from the Asia Pacific. This is expected to drive enormous growth that could add up to $26bn to Australia’s GDP and generate thousands of jobs by 2050.
The main focus of the JV in the short to medium term will be on hydrogen production for transport and energy decarbonisation.
The partners have a three-pronged approach that will focus on developing carbon free hydrogen for use in expanding power and energy services, the decarbonisation of road and transport networks with a specific focus on heavy haulage and refuelling infrastructure, and export markets.