The development of a large-scale green hydrogen production facility at bp’s former Kwinana oil refinery in Western Australia has reached a “major milestone,” with work starting on front-end engineering design, backed by $70 million from the Albanese government.

Led by bp Australia, the H2Kwinana Hydrogen Hub will include a 100MW electrolyser, with the potential to expand the project in the future to a total of 1.5GW production.

Once operational – the current target is for construction to be complete in mid-2027 – K2Kwinana is expected to produce more than 14,000 tonnes of green hydrogen a year for industrial use and heavy transport.

The project also involves the installation of hydrogen storage, compression and truck loading facilities and upgrades to bp’s existing on-site hydrogen pipeline system.

The new milestone for H2Kwinana was jointly marked by the WA and federal Labor governments, the latter making good on its 2022 election pledge to tip $70 million into the project from its Regional Hydrogen Hubs program.

“This investment will create regional jobs and help decarbonise the state’s industrial sector, as WA embraces the opportunities of the clean energy transformation,” a joint statement said.

The move into front-end engineering and design follows the completion of the state-funded feasibility study for the project, in late August.

“Going into FEED, with the support and belief of the state and federal governments, is a major milestone for this project,” said Frédéric Baudry, president of bp Australia.

“Hydrogen produced from water and renewable power has the potential to decarbonise bp’s planned biorefinery where hydrogen is made from natural gas and biogas, and at other industrial facilities in the Kwinana industrial area where hydrogen is also made from natural gas.

“We are all-in in Australia, with major investment plans in WA and specifically in the Kwinana area,” Baudry said.

“H2K at Kwinana is bp’s strategy in action, leading from the front in decarbonisation in the region and providing energy security through diversity.”

Beyond H2Kwinana, the Albanese government is investing more than half a billion dollars in regional Hydrogen Hubs, including in the Pilbara, Gladstone, Townsville, the Hunter, Bell Bay and Port Bonython.

Federal energy minister Chris Bowen says Australia’s hydrogen industry is projected to generate $50 billion in additional GDP by 2050, creating tens of thousands of jobs in regional Australia.

“Kwinana has been an industrial and economic powerhouse for decades, making it an ideal location for a hydrogen hub that can support decarbonisation of heavy industry and connect our renewable resources to the world,” Bowen said on Friday, from the project site south-west of Perth.

“These projects are the next step towards using locally produced renewable hydrogen in Australia to reduce our industrial emissions and develop a renewable export future.”

Construction of the H2Kwinana Hub is expected to create 150 jobs.

Extracted in full from: