French renewable energy giant Total Eren will partner with Perth-based Province Resources to develop a plan for a massive 8GW green hydrogen facility in Western Australia, another boost for Australia’s rapidly emerging green hydrogen industry.
ASX listed Province Resources announced in a statement on Monday that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Total Eren to cooperate on the completion of a feasibility study into the hydrogen production facility in the Gascoyne region of Western Australian.
Province plans to take advantage of the ample wind and solar resources in regional W.A. that has already attracted interest from at least half a dozen rival projects to develop the 8GW green hydrogen production facility.
The project would be developed in two stages and would be owned in a 50-50 arrangement between Province and the French headquartered Total Eren, which already has operations in Australia with the 256MW Kiamal solar farm.
The proposed hydrogen project would be co-located with Province’s resource exploration activities in Western Australia, with the company primarily looking to produce minerals, salts and potash from the Gascoyne region.
However, the massive potential and scale of the green hydrogen development would represent a major play for both Province and Total in the green energy exports space.
Global head of business development of Total Eren, Fabienne Demol, said the partnership would help deepen the company’s commitments to invest in Australia and low carbon energy sources.
“Total Eren is pleased to partner with Province on this ambitious green Hydrogen project. This new step demonstrates our strong commitment to the Australian market towards the decarbonization of the country and is also a concrete opportunity to kick off our Hydrogen strategy worldwide,” Demol said.
“After solar, wind, and storage, we believe hydrogen is the next step of growth of renewable energies. We are determined to leverage our development and technical skills to make our first of several Hydrogen Projects in Australia a success.”
Under the memorandum of understanding, Province and Total will work together for a period of at least four months to progress plans for the HyEnergy zero carbon hydrogen facility. This will allow the project to benefit from the team of 20 energy market professionals working for Total in Australia.
The HyEnergy zero carbon hydrogen facility would be located south of Carnarvon, on the Western Australian coast.
The two companies will aim to complete a scoping study for the project and potentially sign ‘definitive agreements’ to cooperate on the project.
Province managing director David Frances said the project would benefit from recent momentum on the development of an Australian hydrogen export industry.
“Given the recent drive by state and federal governments to quickly develop and advance the green hydrogen industry in Australia, I am confident this project will be of strategic national importance,” Frances said.
“Province is excited to have a global renewable energy leader such as Total Eren as a partner with the technical and financial capability to help Province deliver this project as part of the backbone of the nation’s hydrogen strategy.”
The news sent Province shares 25 per cent higher during Monday trading and follows a February announcement that Province would acquire Ozexco, including its rights to develop the Gascoyne Project and the potential a renewable green hydrogen project.
The project would join proposals like the Asian Renewable Energy Hub, which is looking to amass as much as 28GW of renewable energy capacity in Western Australia to power the production and export of green hydrogen into the South-east Asian region.
Iron ore billionaire Andrew Forrest is also looking to produce massive amounts of green hydrogen, and potentially green steel, from large wind and solar farms in the Pilbara.
German technology company Siemens has also been involved in a plan to build up to 5,000MW of wind and solar capacity near Kalbarri in Western Australia, also intended to power the production of green hydrogen.
BP is looking to develop a major green hydrogen plant in the same region, and Pilot Energy is also looking at combining offshore wind and on-shore solar for a multi-gigawatt renewable hydrogen project.
Note: This story has been updated to remove reference to the Cohuna solar farm, which is not owned by Total Eren.