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BP's Western Australia renewable hydrogen project enters design study, eyes 1.5 GW capacity


Output slated from 2026

Plans to install 100 MW electrolyzer

Project has potential to decarbonize BP's facilities: company

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BP's renewable hydrogen project at Kwinana in Western Australia has entered its front-end engineering and design stage, with the production slated to start from 2026, the company said Nov. 17.

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The H2Kwinana project, which is being developed in partnership with Macquarie Capital, plans to install a 100-MW electrolyzer, according to BP, with the potential to expand to 1.5 GW in subsequent phases.

"Part of BP's strategy is leaning into the energy transition through our five transition growth engines: biofuels, mobility and convenience, EV charging, renewable power and hydrogen," said Lucy Nation, vice president of Hydrogen, Australia and Asia Pacific at BP.

"The Kwinana Energy Hub shows this strategy in action. We are repurposing existing process units, tanks, pipelines and utilities from the former refinery as the starting point for Kwinana Renewable Fuels and H2Kwinana."

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The project, supported by A$70 million ($45 million) from the Regional Hydrogen Hubs Program, also involves the installation of hydrogen storage, compression and truck loading facilities and upgrades to BP's existing on-site hydrogen pipeline system, according to the company.

Various scenarios evaluated output from the project ranging from 44 mt/day of renewable hydrogen as a base case to 429 mt/d in a growth case, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization said on its website.

Globally, BP is proceeding with the procurement of long-lead items, such as electrolyzers, for its other projects, including H2Kwinana, so that they could start production as per their timelines, it said.

BP, which plans to be net zero by 2050 or sooner, is working in Australia on its low-carbon fuel goals with the help of alternative energy solutions and technology, the company added.

In Australia, BP has been present for over 100 years and has 1,400 retail fuel sites.

Decarbonization plans

According to Frédéric Baudry, president of BP Australia and SVP fuels & low carbon solutions, Asia Pacific, going into FEED, the project has the potential to decarbonize BP's planned biorefinery where hydrogen is made from natural gas and biogas and other facilities in the Kwinana industrial area where hydrogen is made from natural gas.

Kwinana is one of BP's five biofuel projects it has planned globally. The projects are expected to produce around 50,000 barrels/d of sustainable aviation fuel and Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil, also known as renewable diesel, BP said in a February press note.

The biorefinery is planned to produce SAF and biodiesel from biofeedstocks by 2026, according to the press note.

Separately, a feasibility study supported by Western Australia demonstrates the project's ability to support the decarbonization of the state's heavy industry sector, BP said.

"The continued progress of H2Kwinana is possible, thanks to the nearly A$180 million invested by the state government into the renewable hydrogen industry," Bill Johnston, Western Australia's hydrogen minister said separately.

BP's other project, the 26-GW Australian Renewable Energy Hub, in which it is an operating partner, expects financial close on the renewable hydrogen/ammonia project in 2025, with exports seen ahead of 2030, Nation said in a conference at end-October.

Platts, a part of S&P Global Commodity Insights, assessed Western Australia hydrogen produced via PEM electrolysis at $2.4/kg Nov. 15 down 18% on the month.

It assessed Japan hydrogen produced via PEM electrolysis at $5.75/kg Nov. 16, up 46% from a month ago.