Origin Energy has announced plans for a potential Hunter Valley Hydrogen Hub, which would aim to deliver a safe, reliable and commercial scale green hydrogen supply chain in the Newcastle industrial and port zone.

Underpinning the plan is an agreement between Origin and Orica, which will see the companies collaborate on the proposed hub.

The Hunter Valley Hydrogen Hub would produce green hydrogen from sustainably sourced water and renewable electricity from Origin’s portfolio, using a grid connected 55MW electrolyser.

In addition to transforming industrial and manufacturing processes the hub has the potential to drive greater hydrogen mobility applications with several heavy vehicle and transport users offering support to the project including Red Bus Services, Aluminium Revolutionary Chassis Company (ARCC) and ComfortDelGro Corporation Australia (CDC).

Produced hydrogen could fuel trucking and passenger bus operations in the Hunter, Central Coast and Greater Sydney regions and further support the NSW Government’s goal of 10,000 fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) powered by hydrogen by the end of the decade.

Origin CEO Frank Calabria said, “By collaborating with Orica and other partners, we have an invaluable opportunity to further explore how green hydrogen could help to power a cleaner future for manufacturing, transport and industrial customers in Australia.

“Both Origin and Orica are well established in the Hunter region and bring considerable expertise in different aspects of the hydrogen value chain, which will help contribute to the continued development of this emerging industry.

“Reducing emissions from Australia’s manufacturing sector will be key to achieving the nation’s ambition to be net zero emissions by 2050, and this will only be achieved if the energy industry, customers and governments work together to support the development of hydrogen as a future energy source,” he said.

Project design will allow the hydrogen production facility to be scaled up through subsequent phases offering future expansion, including potential hydrogen export capability.

Future stages will also include investigating the feasibility of converting the local gas distribution network to 100% hydrogen to further support a hydrogen supply chain in the area.

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Anneliis Allen

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Chris Zipf

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