Plans to produce up to 3.5 million tons of green hydrogen a year from 50 GW of wind and solar installed across 15,000 km2 of Western Australia’s Goldfields have a major new backer, with Korean energy giant Kepco signing up to develop the“ultrascale project.”
The WA government said on July 10 that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) had been signed between Kepco and Western Green Energy Hub, which is one of Australia’s largest proposed green hydrogen hubs being developed by InterContinental Energy, CWP Global and Mirning Traditional Lands Aboriginal Corporation.
Not many details of the deal are available for now, with no sign of official announcements from the project partners, but WA energy minister Bill Johnston described the MoU as “a key step forward in the process of having this major project completed.”
Johnston said that the WGEH and Kepco will collaborate to assess how the huge green hydrogen hub can be built.
“This is an exciting project for Western Australia and will put our State on the forefront of producing green hydrogen, making it competitive on a worldwide scale,” he said.
When first announced in mid-2021, WGEH was positioned as an integrated green fuels mega project that would use the energy from 25 million solar panels and 3,000 wind turbines to produce 20 million tons of green ammonia a year for both domestic use and export.
The companies also said at the time that “WGEH will be developed with complete respect for the Mirning community and its heritage in the area, with specific corporate governance requirements in this regard built into the WGEH Corporate Charter.”
Like Japan, South Korea is establishing itself as a key player in the global green hydrogen production and export market, with several of its majors now collaborating on Australian projects.
At the end of 2022, Korea East West Power, a subsidiary of Kepco, signed an MoU with Australia’s Hydrogen Utility (H2U) to fast track the development of the H2-Hub in Gladstone, which canvasses up to 3GW of electrolyser capacity in Queensland.
Simultaneously, Korea Midland Power (Komipo) and Perth-based Progressive Green Solution signed an agreement to co-develop a newly project named Western Giga Energy that proposes a one million ton a year green ammonia output.