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Infinite Blue Energy to deliver renewable hydrogen plant in Northam

Published on Tuesday, 29 March 2022 at 2:26:50 PM

Northam will be home to Australia’s first large scale green hydrogen plant designed to eliminate emissions from heavy transport. The pioneering MEG HP1 plant took a step forward today as Infinite Blue Energy (IBE) announced the acquisition of the Northam Solar Farm (Northam) from current owners Indigenous Business Australia (IBA) and Bookitja Pty Ltd as trustee of the Ngangk Trust, who are part of The Whadjuk Foundation Inc (Bookitja). Completion of the acquisition of Northam is subject to various conditions, customary to a transaction of this nature.

Infinite Blue Energy will leverage the existing 11MW solar farm, with the addition of a 10MW hydrogen electrolyser and battery storage, to produce up to 4 tonnes per day of zero-emissions green hydrogen. The facility at Northam is already connected to the SWIS with additional land secured for potential expansion. The project will also include a truck-offloading terminal, enabling IBE to supply local back-to-base operations with future expansion to form its Zero Emissions Highway.

The green hydrogen produced will be partially consumed by WA based waste management companies for use in back-to-base refuse collection vehicles and in fleet vehicles local to MEG HP1 with MOUs in place and binding contracts being negotiated.

Hydrogen is expected to be the most cost-competitive low-carbon solution for medium and heavy-duty transport1. MEG HP1 will enable WA to take a leadership position in the use of renewable hydrogen in transport, consistent with the pillars of the Western Australian Government’s Renewable Hydrogen Strategy. The project is currently undergoing front-end engineering and design (FEED). A final investment decision will be made later this year and the first green hydrogen supply from the new plant is expected following
commissioning in Q4-2023.

Infinite Blue Energy Chairman, Peter Coleman, said the early production system at Northam is a gamechanging project for IBE. The early production system will lead the way for IBE’s Arrowsmith project which is targeting production of ~25 tonnes a day for the mobility sector, with an opportunity for growth up to ~125 tonnes a day as the market develops and export opportunities are pursued.

Infinite Blue Energy CEO, Stephen Gauld, said the business was excited to be taking a leadership role in Western Australian green hydrogen production, supported by a clear pathway to supply green hydrogen for use in the transport sector.

“IBE is proud that we will be producing local green hydrogen to lead the decarbonisation of the transport sector in Western Australia.

“This transaction with the owners of the Northam Solar Farm underlines our commitment to producing hydrogen only from renewable sources.

“Leveraging existing renewable infrastructure will enable us to deliver the project more quickly and deliver more value for IBE shareholders.

Shire of Northam President, Cr Chris Antonio welcomed Infinite Blue Energy to Northam.

“It’s always great to see investment in our community, and its particularly pleasing to see Northam potentially playing a leadership role in the production of renewable hydrogen in WA,” said Cr Antonio.

“This announcement by Infinite Blue Energy, builds on Council’s sustainability focus which has included installing solar panels on Shire facilities, the planned installation of electric vehicle charging stations, the development of a ‘green’ light vehicle fleet plan and the purchase of renewable green energy.

“The Shire of Northam looks forward to working with Infinite Blue Energy to assist them through the local planning approvals process”

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