Green hydrogen and ammonia plant planned for Bundaberg

Hydrogen RD&D (food)
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A multimillion-dollar carbon capture renewable energy venture has been signed to produce hydrogen and green ammonia for export and domestic use in Bundaberg, Queensland. Additional deep-water ports have been identified around Australia to expand production.

The company—a joint venture between Clean Holdings Pty Ltd and Singapore based CAC-H2 Pte Ltd—is looking at bringing long-term investment in excess of $400 million to the project.

CAC-H2 is already developing a hydrogen plant in the Hunter Valley, NSW, using waste wood and sustainable forestry biomass to create green hydrogen.

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The Bundaberg project will be similar but will include the development of a deep-water wharf specifically for large scale production of green hydrogen to be exported to Japan and South Korea. The plant’s capacity is expected to produce up to 30,000 metric tonnes per annum of green ammonia.

The development also includes hydrogen production for domestic use to support a clean energy eco-system in Bundaberg and help decarbonise the state.

Clean Holdings Pty Ltd chief executive Ken Mathews said Bundaberg was set to become a major renewables hub and a key centre for the growth of the hydrogen economy.

“We have already started to develop the various sites for our hydrogen production facilities. We are grateful to the forward thinking of the Queensland Government and the Bundaberg Council, which have recognised the massive economic and environmental benefits of this project.

“With the global sugar market contracting, there is a need to stimulate local business and to provide new employment and training opportunities to locals.”

CAC-H2 Pte Ltd group CEO Glenn Davies said his company was bringing the first ‘negative carbon’ green hydrogen production process to Australia, supporting Queensland’s energy transition strategy of a zero emissions future that targeted jobs, industries, communities, and the environment.

“We have developed a unique circular model that will include working with the sugar cane industry and local farmers to utilise the waste biomass from agricultural activities. This will have positive opportunities for economic development emissions reductions and stronger collaboration in business,” Davies said.

He said sugar cane and local farmers could not only supply their waste material as a feedstock for the hydrogen plants but would also have access to large quantities of biochar, biofuels and wood vinegar as by-products of the gasification process. 

“The blending of biochar and wood vinegar makes it a promising tool for regenerative agriculture and pest control.”

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The company will be located within the Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) of the Bundaberg State Development Area, which was declared in February 2017 in response to the growing demand to land for port-related and industrial activities around the Port of Bundaberg.

Mathews said the State Development Authority (SDA) action had assisted in making Bundaberg an attractive destination for the new hydrogen venture. The port facilities made it a perfect site for the group’s export plans. 

The construction of the Hydrogen & Green Ammonia facility is expected to commence as soon as possible, with first hydrogen production as early as December 2022.