AGL Energy (AGL) today announced an expanded feasibility study with additional partners is underway to explore the development of a green hydrogen and ammonia production facility at AGL’s Hunter Energy Hub.

Independent technical consultancy GHD Advisory is carrying out the feasibility study for AGL as the hub provider and Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) as the exclusive producer of green hydrogen at the site. 

The feasibility study, which is mapping key operational and commercial plans for the project as well as developing a production timeline, is also leveraging the input of additional key industry and consortium partners across multiple sectors which have signed Memorandums of Understanding related to the project:

  • APA Group – a leading Australian energy infrastructure business
  • INPEX CORPORATION – a global energy exploration and production company
  • Jemena – a leading owner and operator of a diverse portfolio of energy infrastructure assets across Australia
  • Osaka Gas Australia – a wholly-owned subsidiary of Osaka Gas Co Ltd – global natural gas and power company.

AGL Chief Operating Officer, Markus Brokhof said the feasibility study, due for completion by the end of the year, was another big step forward in AGL’s vision for an industrial low carbon energy hub at the site of Liddell and Bayswater power stations.

“As we create our Hunter Energy Hub, our aim is to develop strong partnerships that enable an efficient ecosystem and create a circular economy,” Mr Brokhof said.

“By working hand in hand with Fortescue Future Industries, we will be supporting Australia’s emerging green hydrogen industry and bringing our expertise in large-scale renewable generation to the fold.”

“Early estimates suggest the site can support a hydrogen facility of up to 2GW in scale, but we will also test critical inputs including renewable energy costs, firming requirements, electrolyser capital costs, logistics and utilisation.”

“The feasibility scope will focus on assessing the accelerated implementation of a large-scale production facility from minimum 150MW and up to 2GW of hydrogen and preferred derivatives including ammonia for export and domestic use.”

“Our Hunter Energy Hub will be the first of its kind in Australia and will be an example of how an energy hub can combine grid-scale batteries, solar thermal storage, wind and pumped hydro.  It will be an industry-leading model for our other large generation sites and others across the country.”

“Liddell and Bayswater benefit from unique energy infrastructure, positioned with strong grid connectivity, established transport links, workshops and proximity to water supply and industrial activity.”

“The future is about bringing the best in low-carbon technologies together to shape a cleaner energy future to ensure customers have sustainable, secure and affordable electricity.”

Since announcing the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), AGL and FFI have been developing and finalising the scope of the feasibility study, with AGL signing additional partners to the MOU.

Following the feasibility study AGL expects this project, along with the others in the Hunter Energy Hub, to drive the development of around 1,000 permanent jobs across energy production, advanced manufacturing, recycling and the production of chemicals.

FFI Director for East Australia and NZ, Felicity Underhill, said “the scale of green hydrogen production potential in the Hunter region is world leading and we’re keen to accelerate the delivery of this potential”.

Over the past 20 years, AGL has invested $4.8 billion in renewable and firming generation and has added more than 2,350 MW of new generation capacity to the grid since 2003.

As Australia’s largest energy generator, owner of the largest portfolio of renewable generation and storage assets of any ASX listed company, and a leading retailer of energy solutions, AGL Energy and its people have a critical role to play in Australia’s transition and decarbonisation.

Editor’s note:

  • APA Group will focus on opportunities for renewable generation to underpin hydrogen production as well as the potential for a transmission pipeline.
  • INPEX CORPORATION has a particular focus on the feasibility of cost-competitive green hydrogen for export.
  • Jemena will focus on the implications of injecting hydrogen into its existing transmission and distribution network and the opportunity renewable hydrogen presents for customers to continue to have a choice of energy solutions.
  • Osaka Gas Australia has a particular focus on the feasibility of cost-competitive green hydrogen and hydrogen derived products for domestic use and/or export.