A WA company aims to achieve a national first with its landmark $300 million Arrowsmith Hydrogen Project, along with ambitions to build a series of installations throughout regional Australia to reduce dependence on coal-fired power stations.
Infinite Blue Energy (IBE) has today announced it secured funding for the "100 per cent Green Hydrogen" plant 320km north of Perth, which will produce 25 tonnes of green hydrogen a day using solar and wind energy.
What differentiates this form of energy is that unlike most industrial hydrogen which is produced from natural gas and coal, the energy that creates green hydrogen comes from renewable sources.
That energy is then used for the electrolysis of water, breaking it up into oxygen and hydrogen.
A study from McKenzie Wood estimates less than 1 per cent of the 70 million tonnes of hydrogen produced globally is green, and that the internationally green hydrogen project pipeline through 2025 is 12 times today's total market.
With a goal to drive significant growth in regional jobs and energy security, IBE expects to start construction of its flagship project in June and plans to start its first green hydrogen production in the fourth quarter of 2022.
The initial IBE Green Hydrogen plant is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 78,000 tonnes per year.
With Federal Government interest and support for hydrogen projects at an all-time high, IBE CEO Stephen Gauld believes IBE is entering the market at just the right time and with the right pedigree to steer the industry into ground-breaking territory.
He recognises the operational challenges that COVID-19 has posed for Australia's economy, requiring Australia to build on its employment opportunities to help get the country back up and running again.
"COVID-19 has completely changed the operational outlook for so many businesses across the country and what is now needed to be market leading is a uniquely competitive and innovative offering that has not been done before; one with a sustainable carbon footprint that can truly accelerate Australia's economic growth in regional areas," say Gauld.
"IBE is at the leading edge of Green Hydrogen and we have been able to progress the Arrowsmith Hydrogen Project by establishing partnerships with leading Australian and international companies, technology suppliers and Green Hydrogen buyers around the world.
"We are enabling access to leading edge technology and establishing domestic and international sales agreements to spearhead our expansion plans."
Pictured: (L-R) IBE CFO Chris Burton, co-founder Yolanda Zhao, founder & MD Stephen Gauld, and GM regulatory & compliance Tim Hodge.
The go-ahead is now possible after IBE signed term sheet with Hong Kong-based China Hydrogen and a consortium of international investors for $300 million in equity and debt.
Gauld says IBE's vision is to show the world first and foremost that Australia has the technology, skills and entrepreneurial mindset to be a true leader in the development of green hydrogen plants.
He emphasises self-reliant green hydrogen plants are not disrupted or affected by weather or seasonal conditions, and can also provide baseload energy 24/7.
Future expansion plans are under development to replace coal fired power stations in NSW, by combining green hydrogen, renewable energy and fuel cell technologies.
"IBE is are already in discussions with several parties to build and develop Green Hydrogen power plants and we are pleased by the strong interest we've already secured to date," says Gauld.
The company is also seeking to export Liquified Green Hydrogen to high-growth markets across the Asia-Pacific region as a key area of focus for business expansion.
"Many of our customers have been seeking commercial quantities of 100 per cent clean and green hydrogen energy to enable progression to low/nil carbon business models.
"The lack of sufficient quantities of green hydrogen has been a major barrier for businesses, and IBE is seen as the key to breaking this barrier.
"We're really excited by the possibilities for this project and see green hydrogen as a fantastic growth industry for regional Australia that stands to benefit all Australians in the years to come."
Western Australia has a patchy history with green energy, after Carnegie Clean Energy's (ASX: CCE) heralded $16 million Albany wave farm failed to deliver on expectations, leading to millions in losses for investors.Never miss a news update, subscribe here. Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter.
Business News Australia
Help us deliver quality journalism to you.
As a free and independent news site providing daily updates
during a period of unprecedented challenges for businesses everywhere
we call on your support