WA Water Corp signs green hydrogen deal

The WA Water corporation has signed an agreement to supply water for what’s expected to be one of Australia’s first commercial green hydrogen projects.

The Stirling Trunk Main pipeline(image: Frontier Energy)

The 15-year agreement is the government-owned water, wastewater and drainage services supplier’s first commercial renewable hydrogen contract.

The Bristol Springs Green Hydrogen Project, in Waroona, 120 km from Perth in south-western WA,  is being developed by listed company Frontier Energy.

In an ASX announcement on Tuesday Frontier said the agreement provides for the supply of 1,250 Kl of water a day.

Water will be supplied via the Stirling Trunk Main, which carries water from the Southern Dams and Southern Seawater Desal Plant to the Integrated Water Supply Scheme.

“This is a major milestone for the company as accessing suitable water is one of two critical elements for green hydrogen production, the other being renewable energy,” Frontier said.

Production to start in 2025

The compamy says production is expected to begin in 2025. Stage one production is forecast at around 4.4 million kilograms of renewable hydrogen a year with potential to expand to meet demand.

A study conducted by Fronteir Dnergy, based in preliminary technical and economic assessments,  estimates it wll cost $2.38 to produce one kilogram of hydrogen at the Bristol Springs production facility.

Water minister Simone McGurk commended the Water Corporation for supporting the project.

“Comprising two parts hydrogen, water is essential for renewable hydrogen production and Water Corporation’s long-term supply agreement with Frontier Energy is a win-win, and an important milestone in developing the renewable hydrogen industry in WA,” she said.

Hydrogen minister Roger Cook says the government is committed to supporting emerging hydrogen production projects as it seeks to establish the state as a significant exporter and user of renewable hydrogen.

Green hydrogen is produced by splitting water into oxygen and hydrogen via electrolosis using renewable energy.

Power to produce the hydrogen will be sourced from Frontier’s solar farm.

Australian governments agreed last month to review the 2019 National Hydrogen Strategy.

The federal Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water says the Commonwealth will lead a review of the strategy to ensure Australia remains on a path to be a global hydrogen leader by 2030 both as an exporter and domestically.

The department says the review will take account of developments globally and in Australia since the original strategy was developed.

It will announce a public consultation process soon.

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