BP will purchase a 40.5% stake in and operate a solar, wind and green hydrogen project in Western Australia that, when completed, will be able to generate up to 26 GW of solar and wind power.
By taking part in the project, the oil giant aims to supply green hydrogen from Australia to key markets including South Korea and Japan.
The Asian Renewable Energy Hub (AREH), which will be built in stages, proposes to deliver renewable energy to local consumers as well as manufacture green hydrogen and green ammonia for both domestic and export markets.
At full capacity, AREH will be able to produce around 1.6 million tonnes of green hydrogen or 9 million tonnes of green ammonia per year.
According to Anja-Isabel Dotzenrath, BP’s executive vice president of gas and low carbon energy, AREH may be a cornerstone initiative in helping its clients meet their net zero and energy objectives.
She added that the project embodies the concept of integrated energy by combining solar and onshore wind power with hydrogen production and using it to help alter sectors and regions.
According to BP, AREH is located on a 6,500-square-kilometer land in the Pilbara area and has access to abundant solar and wind resources with constant output.
According to the terms of the agreement, BP will buy a 40.5% stake in the project and will take over operation on July 1, 2022. Other partner shareholders are InterContinental Energy (26.4%), CWP Global (17.8%), and Macquarie Capital and Macquarie’s Green Investment Group (15.3%).
AREH received environmental approval from Western Australia’s government for the first 15GW stage of the hub in 2020, but the proposal met a stop last year when the federal government banned the project, citing its environmental impact. Sussan Ley, the former environment minister, stated at the time that the hub would have undesirable impacts on wetlands and migratory bird species.
The Western Australian Environmental Protection Authority had previously approved AREH on the condition that it meet restrictions such as building no-impact buffer zones and burying transmission lines to assist protect wildlife. The project is allegedly confident that the concerns can be addressed and approval can be obtained, local media reported.