A renewable energy company is issuing up to 1.8 million new shares in a capital raising exercise it says could lead to the first ever green hydrogen plant being built in Tasmania.

The first renewable hydrogen production facility in Tasmania could soon be given the green light, with the company behind the project set to issue up to 1.8 million new shares as it seeks to raise capital ahead of a final investment decision.

ReNu Energy announced the capital raising offer of up to $2 million to the ASX on Tuesday, saying it would help progress its proposed Tasmanian hydrogen projects, developed by subsidiary Countrywide Hydrogen.

The company said up to 1.81 million new shares were being issued at an issue price of $0.011.

It comes after Countrywide Hydrogen secured contractors to supply electrolysers and hydrogen refuelling stations and completed basic designs and a capital cost estimate for its planned Tasmanian projects in July.

Geoff Drucker, the managing director of Countrywide Hydrogen, told the Mercury that a final investment decision on the proposed 5MW Brighton and Wesley Vale plants would be reached by the end of this calendar year.

“Our project in the North at Wesley Vale is steaming ahead and it’s a great location,” he said. “Everything is lining up beautifully there, everything is lining up beautifully … at the transport hub in Brighton.

“And the locations that we’ve chosen are just perfect for us to be able to provide particularly the road transport sector with an opportunity to decarbonise their operations.”

Mr Drucker said progress was slower at Launceston Airport – where the company also hopes to build a 5MW facility – due to a need to upgrade the grid connection at Western Junction.

He said Countrywide Hydrogen had been engaged in discussions with companies such as McDonald’s, Wesfarmers, Sustainable Timber Tasmania, and Forico regarding the potential for hydrogen to help them decarbonise their road transport operations.

“McDonald’s’ … road transport company have said to us, ‘We’re on the case, we want to do this’. They’ve expressed strong interest in using Tasmania as the first state in Australia that they’re going to focus on having zero-emission road transport operation in Australia,” Mr Drucker said.

The Tasmanian government recently announced an $8 million Green Hydrogen Price Reduction Scheme, which would award funding to companies on a per kilogram basis of green hydrogen sold to end-users.

Countrywide Hydrogen intends to register its interest for funding through the scheme.

Mr Drucker said Countrywide would not just be building the first hydrogen production facility in Tasmania but also the first in Australia with external customers.

“We’ve built a book of customers who want to transition from fossil fuels, particularly in road transport, to a zero-emission result, which is afforded by green hydrogen produced in Tasmania,” he said.

Extracted in full from:  https://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/countrywide-hydrogen-capital-raising-launched-as-case-for-tasmanian-projects-begins-to-stack-up/news-story/16e221ce5624eff626d2196de9b22aea