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ARENA backs huge Pilbara green hydrogen plant

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The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is backing construction of one of the world’s largest green hydrogen production plants, announcing conditional approval for a $47.5 million grant towards ENGIE’s renewable hydrogen and ammonia project near Karratha in Western Australia.

The $87 million Yuri project includes a 10 megawatt (MW) electrolyser to produce renewable hydrogen, 18 MW solar PV system to power the electrolyser and 8 MW / 5 MWh lithium-ion battery for firming.

The facility will supply hydrogen and electricity to Yara Pilbara Fertilisers at its neighbouring liquid ammonia facility.

Once completed, the project will be Australia’s largest electrolyser, capable of producing up to 640 tonnes of renewable hydrogen per year.

The project, expected to begin construction in October, is also receiving $2 million funding from the Western Australian Government’s Renewable Hydrogen Fund as part of the WA’s Renewable Hydrogen Strategy.

ENGIE Renewables Australia Pty Ltd (ENGIE) has formed a subsidiary called Yuri to develop the project. Mitsui & Co. Ltd (Mitsui) has agreed to acquire a 28 per cent stake in the Yuri subsidiary subject to satisfaction of certain conditions under its investment agreement.

In 2019, ARENA supported Yara with a $995,000 grant to investigate the feasibility of a renewable hydrogen and ammonia facility in the Pilbara. Positive outcomes of that study underpin the business case for the Yuri project.

Yuri will be funded under ARENA’s Renewable Hydrogen Deployment Funding Round, which was announced in 2020 to support the first generation of large scale renewable hydrogen plants in Australia.

Funding was made available for projects larger than 5 MW, with ARENA announcing the three successful applicants in May 2021.

ARENA is working with the other two successful applicants to progress their projects to financial close.

Picture: ARENA

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