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BP takes majority stake in Australian green hydrogen project

BP will produce green hydrogen from renewable energy in Western Australia. (Image: Thaut Images – fotolia.com)

The Asian Renewable Energy Hub (AREH) aims to support the development of up to 26 GW of combined solar and wind capacity
In the final stage, AREH could produce 1.6 million tons of green hydrogen or 9 million tons of green ammonia annually – so it would be one of the largest green hydrogen projects in the world.

Building on the development of world-scale renewable power generation, the project in the Pilbara region of Western Australia aims to bring renewable electricity to local customers in the world’s largest mining region. The consortium also wants to produce green hydrogen and green ammonia there for the Australian domestic market and for export to major international buyers.

A third of Australia’s electricity production

The consortium plans to expand onshore wind and solar power generation in multiple phases to a total capacity of up to 26 GW – equivalent to generating over 90 TWh per year, or about a third of Australia’s total electricity generation in 20201.

“AREH will be one of the largest hubs for renewable and green hydrogen energy in the world and can make a significant contribution to the energy transition in Australia and across the Asia Pacific region. AREH reflects what integrated energy is – the combination of Solar and onshore wind power with hydrogen production and its use to transform sectors and regions,” Anja-Isabel Dotzenrath, executive vice president of gas and low-carbon energy at BP, is quoted as saying in a press release.

At full capacity, the hub is expected to be able to produce around 1.6 million tons of green hydrogen or 9 million tons of green ammonia annually. The facility is located on a 6,500 square kilometer site in a highly advantageous position with access to abundant solar and wind resources with constant output, according to BP.

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The Pilbara is a globally competitive and energy intensive Mining region with significant energy demand and carbon emissions. At full capacity, AREH is expected to save approximately 17 million tons of carbon annually in the domestic and export markets, equivalent to approximately 0.5 gigatonnes (Gt) of carbon savings over the lifetime of the project.

When fully developed, the project could provide BP with significant net renewable energy generation capacity and make a significant contribution to its strategic goal of achieving a 10% share of the world’s major hydrogen markets.

The project was first proposed in 2014 and to date has been developed by partners who currently include Intercontinental Energy, CWP Global and Macquarie Capital and Macquarie’s Green Investment Group. Under the terms of the agreement, bp will acquire a 40.5% interest in the project and assume operational management from July 1, 2022, subject to approvals. The other shareholders of AREH will continue to be Intercontinental Energy (26.4%), CWP Global (17.8%) and Macquarie Capital and Macquarie’s Green Investment Group (15.3%). Here you will find our continuously updated ticker on the subject of hydrogen.

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