The South Australian Government has joined a global energy consortium in an effort to further develop the state’s hydrogen production and export industry.
Headed by Tokyo Gas advisor Shigeru Muraki, the Green Ammonia Consortium has been established as an independent association with membership open to global entities with an interest in green (renewable) ammonia.
More than 60 companies and institutions have been invited to join the Consortium including; IHI Corporation, UBE Industries, Sumitomo Chemical, Tokyo Gas, Toyo Engineering, JGC Corporation, Marubeni Corporation, Mitsui & Co, and Mitsubishi Corporation, as well as three Australian companies; H2U, Woodside, and Fortescue Metals Group.
Green ammonia – a chemical compound of nitrogen and renewable hydrogen – is a highly sought after commodity, particularly in energy-hungry nations such as Japan and the Republic of Korea who are seeking to utilise hydrogen to reduce their reliance on imported fossil fuels.
It is s considered one of the most prospective chemical carriers of hydrogen, as well as a potential fuel for large scale power stations, making it an attractive export opportunity.
Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, David Ridgway, said The Government of South Australia will be joining the consortium in advisory capacity, alongside Austrade and CSIRO.
“The activities of the Consortium will focus on promoting international collaborations between industry, government and academia, the commercialisation of ammonia utilisation technologies and supply chains, research, strategy and policy-making” Minister Ridgway added.
“This is a major milestone towards developing a significant, clean and safe hydrogen value chain in South Australia.”
The SA Government has thus far invested more than A$42 million in grants and loans through the Renewable Technology Fund to support the development of the first renewable hydrogen production projects in the state. This includes a renewable ammonia production facility currently being planned by H2U near Port Lincoln.
The state was also the first Australian jurisdiction to work with industry to develop a plan to fast track the transition to a hydrogen economy through the release of the Hydrogen Roadmap for South Australia in September 2017.
SA Minister for Energy and Mining, Dan van Holst Pellekaan said the state has a fundamental competitive advantage in producing renewable hydrogen, arising from its abundance of low cost wind and low cost solar energy which can be harnessed to power electrolysers to make hydrogen from various sources of water.
He said the state government is also preparing a Hydrogen Action Plan which will be released later this year and will focus on scaling up hydrogen production for export and domestic applications.
“South Australia is interested in all forms of hydrogen carrier technologies including liquid hydrogen, liquid organic hydrides, as well as ammonia,” the Minister concluded.