First renewable hydrogen shipment heads north

The first shipment of renewable hydrogen has been sent from a Tonsley hydrogen hub to the Whyalla steelworks, with further plans for blended gas to be delivered to some 3000 Adelaide homes by the end of this year.

Aug 29, 2022, updated Aug 29, 2022
Premier Malinauskas at HyP SA's hydrogen plant with Kristin Raman. Pic: Belinda Willis/InDaily

Premier Malinauskas at HyP SA's hydrogen plant with Kristin Raman. Pic: Belinda Willis/InDaily

A custom tube trailer left Hydrogen Park South Australia – called HyP SA – this morning loaded with hydrogen in a South Australian-first, with weekly deliveries to Whyalla expected to follow.

The shipment again marked that “the real-life application of this facility reinforces widening community recognition of hydrogen’s benefits”, Premier Peter  Malinauskas said.

The 370 kilograms of the renewable gas heading to Whyalla will be used in the production of high-purity argon, with new weekly deliveries replacing gas currently being sourced from Victoria.

The partnership with HyP SA operator Australian Gas Networks (AGN) and BOC is expected to save about 122,000 kilograms of carbon emissions each year, along with significant transport costs in eliminating Victorian supply.

“The green hydrogen will be used for combustion in our Whyalla Argon Purification Unit which makes high purity argon used in industrial processes and welding gases,” BOC South Pacific managing director John Evans said.

Energy and Mining Minister Tom Koutsantonis said HypSA is Australia’s largest electrolyser and is also “the first to deliver a renewable hydrogen blend to customers on the existing gas network so South Australia is really at the forefront of the nation’s hydrogen economy”.

HypSA has been producing renewable hydrogen using renewable electricity and water since May last year. It is currently supplying five per cent renewable gas to about 700 homes in Mitchell Park – with plans to ramp this up to the 3000 homes.

Marking the first shipment of renewable hydrogen from HyP SA’s plant at Tonsley. Pic: Belinda Willis/InDaily

AGN owns and operates the gas distribution network in South Australia, and HyP SA is its first renewable gas project.

HypSA executive general manager strategy, sustainability Kristin Raman said there had been extensive interest in the project at the Tonsley Innovation District as production grows.

“I think we’ve had over 2000 guests through from students through to ambassadors,” she said.

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Hydrogen produced at HyP SA is created from water and renewable electricity in a process called electrolysis where the molecule is separated from other elements.

This hydrogen is blended with natural gas for supply to part of the existing Mitchell Park gas network, put into storage or put into BOC trucks for supply to industry.

AGN owns and operates the gas distribution network in South Australia, through Australian Gas Infrastructure Group, and chief executive officer Craig de Laine said the HyP SA production showed the wider potential for integrating this fuel into existing and future energy networks.

AGN has targeted 10 per cent renewable gas across its networks by 2030 and conversion to 100 per cent renewable gas by no later than 2050.

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