THE Western Australia state government is investing $61.5 million to boost the state’s renewable hydrogen industry.

A new $50 million fund, included in the government’s 2021-22 Budget, will be used to stimulate local demand for renewable hydrogen in transport and industrial settings and to drive investment into renewable hydrogen.

The 2021-22 Budget includes funding to develop and upgrade infrastructure at the Oakajee Strategic Industrial Area to establish a major renewable hydrogen hub in the Mid-West.

The government said this delivers on its election promise of $7.5 million for an access road into the Oakajee Strategic Industrial Area to start activation of the precinct.

An additional $4 million is to be directed towards developing the plan for activation of Oakajee and for additional infrastructure requirements, and to bolster the Renewable Hydrogen Unit within the state Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation.

The WA government also has progressed a $900,000 investment towards three industry-led feasibility studies into renewable hydrogen projects across the state.

The studies, supported by the government’s existing $15-million Renewable Hydrogen Fund, include projects in metropolitan and regional WA to support industry development.

BP Australia will receive $300,000 to progress their Kwinana Clean Fuels Hub proposal, which would see BP’s existing Kwinana refinery facility used for green hydrogen and clean fuel production.

Two feasibility studies will examine technologies and capabilities to support the transport of renewable hydrogen.

APT Management Services will receive $300,000 to study the conversion of the Parmelia gas pipeline into a 100% hydrogen pipeline.

Global Energy Ventures will receive $300,000 to evaluate the technical and commercial feasibility of exporting green hydrogen to the Asia-Pacific from the Gascoyne utilising a compressed hydrogen shipping system.

GEV managing director Martin Carolan said, “GEV is delighted to be one of three applicants chosen for feasibility funding from the WA Renewable Hydrogen Fund and would like to thank and acknowledge the Western Australian government for their support and recognition of our plans to export green hydrogen from the Gascoyne region.”

Mr Carolan said GEV aims to harness WA’s renewable energy resources and proud history of exporting energy to international markets to develop the first green hydrogen export project using our compressed shipping supply chain.

WA Premier Mark McGowan said hydrogen offers big potential for the state; it has the capacity to sit alongside iron ore or LNG as a major export commodity.

“This $61.5 million initiative will attract investment, support work to grow a local hydrogen production industry and drive local demand for hydrogen – delivering local economic benefits and helping WA meet its emissions reductions targets,” he said.

State hydrogen industry minister Alannah MacTiernan said the funding commitment would supercharge the state’s renewable hydrogen industry, helping to stimulate local demand for hydrogen to get production projects get off the ground.

“Renewable hydrogen presents a big opportunity for industries right across WA to reduce their emissions and embrace a cleaner future, and our funding commitment to demand stimulation will help companies take that leap,” she said.

“BP’s proposal to convert the old Kwinana oil refinery into a green hydrogen hub will help to revitalise Kwinana and bring this facility into a low-emissions future.