NT fast-tracks Desert Bloom green hydrogen project

Central Australian landscape (Desert Bloom)
Image: Shutterstock

The massive $15b Desert Bloom green hydrogen project is building momentum, with the Northern Territory Government announcing it has been fast-tracked to Major Project Status.

The Desert Bloom Hydrogen project is a staged commercial-scale green hydrogen operation. It has the potential to deliver approximately 410,000 tonnes per annum of hydrogen for domestic and international export markets.

Water is a precious resource and a sustainable water source is critical to development of renewable hydrogen projects in the Territory. This technology provides an innovative solution for securing a sustainable water source for the production of renewable hydrogen in Central Australia. The technology works by capturing water from the atmosphere in arid environments.

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The project is backed by Sanguine Impact Investment, which has committed $1 billion required for the project’s initial stages, and to provide the capital to roll out the full project.

Depending on how the project rollout is sequenced, it is expected that at its peak, more than 1,000 full-time jobs will be required for construction, both in Darwin and on-site in multiple locations, and more than 120 full-time jobs will be created to operate and maintain the project. 

Construction for the first stage of the project will require approximately 100 full-time construction jobs, and 6 full-time jobs for ongoing operations.

The next steps of this project include the Territory Government working with Desert Bloom Hydrogen to develop the staged project to its potential export scale, including identifying suitable land in Central Australia to harness solar energy and ensuring adherence to standard best practice regulatory processes and approvals.

Awarding of Major Project Status follows the company’s 12 week trial in the Barkly earlier this year.

The Government’s Northern Territory Hydrogen Masterplan outlines the Territory’s competitive advantages and how the Territory will leverage these advantages to be a centre of hydrogen technology research, production and use in Australia.

Desert Bloom Hydrogen’s proponent, Aqua Aerem, an innovative Australian and internationally owned company that is closely aligned with the nation’s push to drive new technology and accelerate the development of the domestic hydrogen industry. The project’s scale and ambition matches that of the Territory Government. 

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Northern Territory Minister for Renewables and Energy Eva Lawler said, “The Territory Labor Government supports hydrogen technology in the Territory. With its potential to expand to a $15 billion project, Desert Bloom  will further champion renewable hydrogen investment as part of the Territory’s transition to renewables—this is laid out in our Hydrogen Masterplan.

“The Desert Bloom Hydrogen technology provides an innovative approach to secure a sustainable water supply, which is an essential in the development of renewable hydrogen and will be particularly valuable in arid areas.

“As renewable hydrogen technologies are continuously evolving, having projects like this in the Territory is further cementing the Territory as a renewables super hub, while also creating long-term jobs in the process.”