Port Pirie, Australia — Trafigura Group Pte. Ltd. (“Trafigura”), one of the world’s largest physical commodity trading companies, Nyrstar, a global multi-metals manufacturing business and the State Government of South Australia today announced a joint investment to progress plans to construct a commercial scale green hydrogen manufacturing facility in Port Pirie, a regional city north of Adelaide.
The AU$5 million Front End Engineering Design study for the Port Pirie Green Hydrogen Project, jointly funded by Trafigura and the South Australian State Government, will commence immediately, with a final investment decision to be made by the end of 2022. If approved, construction will commence in 2023.
At an estimated design and construction cost of AU$750 million, if approved, the Project is to be developed in a phased manner, initially producing 20 tonnes per day (tpd) of green hydrogen for export in the form of green ammonia. The full-scale plant will produce 100tpd of green hydrogen at full capacity from a 440MW electrolyser, enabling it to meet both export and domestic supply needs. The oxygen created in the production of hydrogen will be utilised by the Nyrstar Port Pirie smelter.
The project is planned to be integrated into Nyrstar Australia’s metals recovery smelter at Port Pirie, using existing infrastructure to accelerate production of green hydrogen compared to developing a project on a new greenfield site. The Project will form the cornerstone of a new green hydrogen precinct in Port Pirie that will benefit local businesses and support the decarbonisation of transport and industry.
Trafigura will source 100 percent renewable energy to provide the electricity needed to run the Project’s electrolyser, which will also contribute to decarbonising the existing smelter’s power supply.
Trafigura General Manager – Australia, Tim Rogers said that the company was increasing its global presence in the fast-evolving renewable energy sector, and that the Project created a unique opportunity for the Spencer Gulf to participate in the growth of a new energy industry, creating the next generation of jobs for local communities.
“We are encouraged by governments’ support of the hydrogen industry. With both State and Federal Government support, the Port Pirie Green Hydrogen Project has the potential to be a catalyst for new jobs and economic growth in the region, creating opportunities for existing local businesses to become part of the supply chain, attracting new talent, and encouraging new companies and industries to establish a local presence,” he said.
“We are expecting significant early interest in becoming a part of the green hydrogen precinct with early potential for the region’s heavy vehicle transport industry to investigate hydrogen refuelling options. In time, it is also expected that Trafigura will be working with mining and other energy-intensive industries across the State to explore the opportunities the precinct creates for them to decarbonise through the use of green hydrogen.”
Nyrstar’s Vice-President Australian Operations, Dale Webb, said that the Port Pirie Green Hydrogen Project would enable its business to take a significant step in improving its competitiveness in the international market for zinc, lead and other metals that it produces from its interconnected Port Pirie and Hobart smelters.
“As a leading multi-metals manufacturer, producing and recycling vital metals required for the energy transition, Nyrstar Australia needs to remain competitive on the global stage, on cost and in terms of carbon intensity. The Port Pirie Green Hydrogen Project will meet this challenge head on by delivering renewable energy and oxygen to prove that we can decarbonise a heavy industrial facility and at the same time ensure more efficient and cost-effective production of low carbon metals for the world. This will create a positive differentiator for our products with international customers, and help underpin a stronger, more secure, more sustainable future for Nyrstar Australia.”
South Australian Premier Steven Marshall said “The Port Pirie Green Hydrogen Project will be integral to South Australia’s transformation into a leading global producer of green hydrogen.
“My Government is pleased to contribute to the Front End Engineering Design and support Trafigura and Nyrstar’s plans to create a new green hydrogen precinct that delivers jobs and business growth in the Spencer Gulf.”
Founded in 1993, Trafigura is one of the largest physical commodities trading groups in the world. At the heart of global supply, Trafigura connects the world with the vital resources it needs. Through our Oil & Petroleum Products, Metals and Minerals, and Power and Renewables divisions, we deploy infrastructure, skills and a global network to move commodities from where they are plentiful to where they are needed most, forming strong relationships that make supply chains more efficient, secure and sustainable.
Trafigura also owns and operates a number of industrial assets including a majority share of global multi-metals producer Nyrstar and fuel storage and distribution company Puma Energy; and joint ventures Impala Terminals, a port and logistics provider, and Nala Renewables, a power and renewable energy investment and development platform. With over 1,000 shareholders, Trafigura is owned by its employees and employs over 13,000 people working in 48 countries.
Nyrstar is a global multi-metals business, with a market leading position in zinc and lead. Nyrstar has mining, smelting and other operations located in Europe, the United States of America and Australia and employs over 4,000 people. The company’s global operations are located close to key customers and major transport hubs to facilitate delivery of raw materials and distribution of finished products. In July 2019, Nyrstar’s operating business became majority owned by Trafigura, one of the world’s leading independent commodity trading companies.
Nyrstar Australia is a national multi-metals processing and manufacturing business, operating in Port Pirie and Hobart for over 100 years to produce lead, silver, zinc, and many other materials – including critical minerals – that are essential for the manufacture of products used by everyone, every day.
Today Nyrstar Australia employs over 1,300 people across processing plants in Port Pirie and Hobart that operate as two interlinked sites and play a critical role in increasing the value of the metals and minerals obtained from resources sourced from across Australia and around the world.