The Australian port of Geelong in Victoria plans to spend A$100mn ($71.4mn) on a hub for hydrogen gas produced from renewable sources, with Singapore gasification technology firm CAC-H2 to be hub’s foundation green hydrogen developer.

The Geelong hydrogen hub will be a production and distribution facility for green hydrogen with the fuel to be marketed to domestic consumers, including households, businesses and industries, and its development will include building capacity to produce green ammonia for export into Asia to meet rising demand in the region, Geelong Port chief executive officer Brett Winter said.

Green hydrogen is produced by water electrolysis using renewable power.

The first stage of the Geelong hydrogen hub is expected to be operational in December 2023 pending regulatory approvals, Winter said. Australian refiner Viva Energy has its 128,000 b/d Geelong refinery located at the port and has undertaken a study to establish a hydrogen fuelling facility at Geelong.

Geelong is the second port in Victoria that CAC-H2 has struck a deal with in the past two months. The firm formed a joint venture with Port Anthony last month to develop a waste woody biomass gasification system to produce green ammonia for domestic use and export.

But Geelong is not among the seven hydrogen hubs the federal government has pledged to partly fund under its hydrogen strategy. Instead, Canberra is providing funding to a proposed hydrogen hub in the La Trobe Valley in eastern Victoria. Renewables accounted for more than 36pc of Victoria’s electricity supplies last month and the state has plans to source 50pc of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030.

Geelong and Victoria’s ambitions to source more electricity from renewable energy may also benefit from the passage last week of the Offshore Electricity Infrastructure Bill 2021 in the Australian senate, which will allow for the first time offshore wind projects. Offshore Victoria has some of the best wind resources in the country.

Separately, the Western Australia state government has signed an initial agreement with the Netherlands port of Rotterdam. The two parties will work together to investigate a renewable hydrogen export supply chain between Western Australia and the port of Rotterdam, including production, storage, transport and the use of renewable hydrogen, Western Australia’s hydrogen minister Alannah MacTiernan said.

“At this moment 13pc of the total energy demand of the European Union enters the EU via the port of Rotterdam. This energy will gradually shift from fossil to green energy,” Port of Rotterdam Authority chief executive officer Allard Castelein said.

Extracted in full from: Australia’s Geelong port to spend A$100mn on hydrogen | Argus Media