UK oil and gas giant BP is a step closer to establishing a large-scale integrated renewables and green hydrogen project in Western Australia after outlaying AUD 23 million ($15.3 million) for an almost 23,000-hectare property.
BP has progressed its plans to establish 10 GW of wind and solar generation that would be used to power an export-scale green hydrogen and ammonia production facility in Western Australia with the purchase of Daisy Downs, a 22,568-hectare cropping property north of Mullewa, about 120 kilometers from Geraldton.
Daisy Downs provides about 25% of the land BP estimates it needs for the proposed Geraldton Export-Scale Renewable Investment (GERI), which would eventually comprise 10 GW of renewable energy generation capacity used to produce renewable hydrogen and convert it to a carrier such as ammonia. BP is targeting sales to domestic and international markets in the 2030s.
“What we wanted to do here was really access one big tranche of land quickly to demonstrate that we are serious about developing this project,” BP spokesman James Foley told the ABC. “It also gives us some flexibility around what we can do on the land. Wind and solar will be the main aim [but] we may look at opportunities to turn it into hydrogen on the site.”
BP said phase one of the GERI project seeks to develop about 3 GW of wind and solar with the green hydrogen and ammonia expected to be exported from the state government’s planned Oakajee Strategic Industrial Area, about 20km north of Geraldton. The company was recently granted 220 hectares of land alongside the proposed port at Oakajee as the state government looks to fast-track the development of green hydrogen projects in the area.
BP is also reportedly negotiating with landowners in the mid-west to access an additional 73,000 hectares to expand its renewable generation infrastructure further.
BP, which acquired a stake in the 26 GW Asian Renewable Energy Hub (AREH) project in Western Australia’s Pilbara region last year, has set its sights on establishing a similar project in the Geraldton region based on the positive findings of a feasibility study into the potential of the area.
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When the findings of the study were released, BP Australia President Frédéric Baudry said they confirmed the potential for scaled-up green hydrogen production in Western Australia.
“This looks particularly promising in the mid-west of [Western Australia], which has existing infrastructure, access to land and abundant renewable energy resources such as wind and solar,” he said. “Importantly, our study also confirmed strong demand from potential customers in the hard-to-abate sectors, and for both local and export markets.”
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