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South Australian hydrogen park to start deliveries early 2021

Melbourne — The inaugural delivery of renewable hydrogen produced at Hydrogen Park in South Australia, or HyP SA, is expected to occur by the end of January, project developer Australian Gas Networks, or AGN, said Oct. 26.

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AGN, which is part of the Australian Gas Infrastructure Group, or AGIG, said it had completed the installation of an electrolyzer at HyP SA at Tonsley Innovation District near Adelaide and the plant was being commissioned ahead of supplying first blended renewable hydrogen from the start of 2021.

The coastal city of Whyalla, which hosts Liberty Group's steelworks and associated industries, is set to be the first recipient of hydrogen from HyP SA.

AGN said it had also signed an agreement with BOC Ltd, part of industrial gas and engineering company Linde Group, to install tube trailer refilling infrastructure at the park.

Tube trailers consist of hydrogen tanks of various sizes that can be transported by trucks to customers.

AGIG head of people and strategy, Craig De Laine, said BOC's tube trailers would deliver the renewable hydrogen to supply customers in Whyalla that were "looking to decarbonize, including the steelworks."

HyP SA to Whyalla is a road journey of just over four hours, according to Google Maps, but De Laine said distance was no object.

"We're looking at any potential markets, BOC is even looking at delivering renewables from the site to Western Australia. Once you get the hydrogen on a truck, you can transport it anywhere, which is why it's such an exciting prospect," he told S&P Global Platts.

Liberty Group, which runs the Whyalla steelworks, said recently that it was progressing the use of hydrogen to reduce carbon emissions in primary steelmaking. It is looking to deploy hydrogen-based direct reduction technologies at its operations in Australia and Europe.

AGN's hydrogen production plant cost A$11.4 million ($8.1 million) and received a A$4.9 million grant from the government of South Australia.

BOC director of strategy and business development, Vesna Olles, said in a statement the "short delivery routes" for gas sourced from HyP SA would reduce costs and open up the hydrogen market in South Australia.

Hydrogen has to date been transported to the state from neighboring Victoria. HyP SA will also supply some retail customers in Adelaide with the blended 5% renewable gas once the plant is fully operational.