South Australia finalises winners for $374 million Whyalla green hydrogen hub

The South Australian government has picked the potential winners in a tender that will allow the development of a 250 MW electrolyser and hydrogen storage plant in a $374 million hub near Whyalla. Reportedly, the Australian state government declared a consortium of international gas and engineering massive corporations – Atco Australia and BOC, part of industrial gases provider Linde Plc – as “preferred partners” for the Hydrogen Jobs Plan initiative.

In addition to the electrolyser, the plan calls for the construction of a 200 MW hydrogen-fueled power plant and 3,600 tonnes of hydrogen storage facilities. Following a six-month assessment, ATCO Australia and BOC were selected from the list of 29 rivals.

The government claims that their proposal was chosen because it offered a “solution encompassing design and build experience in electrolysers, generators, on-site storage as well as operational expertise.” Furthermore, the consortium has agreed to an Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) agreement with the state government; however, further research on engineering design, the acquisition of necessary equipment, and the conclusion of contractual arrangements must be completed before a definitive agreement can be signed. In order to construct an integrated pipeline and hydrogen storage system relevant to the project, an ECI agreement has also been struck with domestic infrastructure business EPIC Energy. The Whyalla centre is expected to go live in early 2026. The construction is projected to begin in 2024.

In February 2023, Australia and the Netherlands signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to collaborate on the construction of a green hydrogen supply chain from Australia to Europe via the Port of Rotterdam. During Australia’s Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Chris Bowen’s visit to Europe, the MoU was signed between him and the Netherlands Minister for Climate and Energy. This expands on existing agreements between many Australian jurisdictions and the Dutch port.