The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) said that it was backing a study into building a green ammonia facility with a solar farm at Incitec Pivot’s Moranbah ammonia plant in Queensland and is also backing a study to build a green hydrogen ammonia plant with Queensland Nitrates, a joint venture between Incitec and Wesfarmers Ltd, with wind, solar and stored energy from facilities provided by France’s Neoen SA.
The Australian government has agreed to provide A$2.9 million ($2 million) for two studies into using solar and wind power to produce hydrogen for ammonia, part of a broader push by Canberra to spur development of hydrogen industry.
On both sites, natural gas is used as a feedstock to produce hydrogen for ammonia to make ammonium nitrate for the mining industry. The studies are also looking for ways to produce hydrogen at an industrial scale by using clean power to split water. Tim Wall, Incitec’s president of global manufacturing, said in a joint statement with ARENA, “The Moranbah study will help determine whether green hydrogen can be produced cheap enough to support expanding the Moranbah plant”.
The federal government and states are working on a strategy, yet to be released in December, in order to develop a hydrogen industry, after a study last year showed there could be a $7 billion market for hydrogen in China, Japan, South Korea and Singapore by 2030.