MoU massive news for Tassie hydrogen industry

L-R: Mayor of George Town Greg Kieser, Woodside’s Executive Vice President Sustainability Shaun Gregory, Tasmanian Minister for Energy Guy Barnett, Minister for State Growth Michael Ferguson, Tas Gas CEO Phaedra Deckart

Woodside Energy Ltd has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the State of Tasmania that outlines the Tasmanian Government’s support for the proposed H2TAS project, a renewable hydrogen production facility at Bell Bay that capitalises on the state’s advantage in green energy.

In parallel with the MOU, Woodside has executed a non-binding term sheet with Tasmanian natural gas retailer Tas Gas to develop a framework for blending (and for the potential associated sale of) green hydrogen into the Tasmanian gas network.

The MOU, announced today by Tasmanian Minister for Energy Guy Barnett, Minister for State Growth Michael Ferguson and Woodside’s Executive Vice President Sustainability Shaun Gregory, was signed by the Premier of Tasmania the Hon. Peter Gutwein and Woodside CEO Peter Coleman.

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Woodside CEO Peter Coleman said the agreement highlighted the Tasmanian Government’s commitment to becoming a leader in large-scale renewable hydrogen production, decarbonising the challenging sectors in the State’s economy and supporting local jobs, training and investment.

“Woodside shares the Tasmanian Government’s net-zero aspiration and welcomes the Government’s leadership in supporting the growth of a domestic hydrogen industry. The Government has taken concrete actions such as creating the Tasmanian Renewable Hydrogen Action Plan, establishing the Tasmanian Renewable Hydrogen Fund and signing this MOU.

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“Woodside is focused on moving beyond feasibility studies and is targeting hydrogen production at H2TAS in the first half of 2023, following a targeted final investment decision in the third quarter of 2021. Importantly, this project would create local construction and operational jobs and new opportunities for Tasmanian businesses,” he said.

The term sheet with Tas Gas marks another significant milestone for H2TAS, the only Tasmanian project among seven shortlisted in the Australian Renewable Energy Agency’s $70 million Renewable Hydrogen Deployment Funding Round, with the final application submitted this month.

Tas Gas CEO Phaedra Deckart said Tas Gas is committed to helping reduce emissions through exploring the use of green gases such as hydrogen.

“Our networks are relatively new and capable of safely conveying hydrogen, unlike older systems across Australia,” she said.