Woodside Energy has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Tasmanian Government outlining the state’s support for the company’s H2TAS project, which is a proposed renewable hydrogen production facility in Bell Bay. The signing of this MoU demonstrates support for companies, such as Woodside, looking to develop the hydrogen industry in Tasmania.

The proposal entails a 10 MW pilot project, producing 4.5 tonnes of hydrogen per day, established in Tasmania. Woodside has collaborated with Countrywide Renewable Energy to propose the project, which is one of just seven projects shortlisted for Australian Renewable Energy Agency’s (ARENA) $70 million Renewable Hydrogen Deployment Funding Round. Woodside expects to complete feasibility studies begin hydrogen production at the plant in the first half of 2023. The company expect final investment to be closed in the third quarter of 2021.

TasGas and Woodside have agreed to explore the possibilities of blending green hydrogen into the Tasmanian gas network. The agreement will provide a framework to blend up to 10 per cent hydrogen, including that produced at H2TAS, into the Tasmanian company’s gas network which includes 837 km of pipelines supplying 13,700 customers. Unlike the older systems in other parts of Australia, TasGas networks are relatively new and have the capability to safely convey hydrogen.

Tasmania is an ideal base for renewable hydrogen in Australia. According to studies, renewable hydrogen production costs could be 10 to 15 per cent lower in Tasmania than from other Australian power grids and 20 to 30 per cent lower than from dedicated off-grid renewables. Tasmania is also in the process of developing a renewable hydrogen industry with the feasibility of key projects being progressed under the government’s $50 million Tasmanian Renewable Hydrogen Industry Development Funding Program, which forms the backbone of the Tasmanian Renewable Hydrogen Action Plan.