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BP to explore hydrogen future at Kwinana refinery

Kwinana refinery

BP Australia has secured $300,000 from the Western Australian Government to progress its Kwinana Clean Fuels Hub proposal, which would see its existing refinery facility used for green hydrogen and clean fuel production.

Kwinana MLA Roger Cook said renewable hydrogen will play an important role in BP’s energy mix as it moves towards a lower carbon future.

“Western Australia’s strategic industrial land is well suited to developing the renewable hydrogen industry, particularly in the Kwinana Industrial Area,” he said.

“Today’s announcement will support work to grow a local hydrogen industry which will deliver economic benefits to Western Australia and grow local jobs.”

BP announced plans to stop fuel production at the refinery and convert it into a fuel import terminal in October last year, following regional oversupply and sustained low refining margins.

After exploring multiple possibilities for the refinery’s future, BP concluded that conversion to an import terminal was the best option.

The refinery has provided fuels in the state for 65 years. However, BP made the decision because of the growth of large-scale, export-oriented refineries throughout Asia, which have structurally changed the Australian market.

Hydrogen Industry Minister Alannah MacTiernan said the latest round of feasibility studies presents exciting opportunities for hydrogen across WA.

“BP’s proposal to convert the old Kwinana oil refinery into a green hydrogen hub will help to revitalise Kwinana and bring this facility into a low-emissions future,” she said.

The McGowan Government announced it will invest an additional $61.5 million to supercharge Western Australia’s growing renewable hydrogen industry to create jobs and move towards a low-carbon future.

A new $50 million fund, included in the WA Government’s 2021-22 Budget, will be used to stimulate local demand for renewable hydrogen in transport and industrial settings and to drive investment into renewable hydrogen.

The 2021-22 Budget includes funding to develop and upgrade infrastructure at the Oakajee Strategic Industrial Area (SIA) to establish a major renewable hydrogen hub in the Mid-West.

An additional $4 million will be directed towards developing the plan for activation of Oakajee and for additional infrastructure requirements, and to bolster the Renewable Hydrogen Unit within the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation.

The new funding commitment comes as the McGowan Government progresses a $900,000 investment towards three industry-led feasibility studies into renewable hydrogen projects across the State.

The studies, supported by the McGowan Government’s existing $15 million Renewable Hydrogen Fund, include projects in metropolitan and regional WA to support industry development.

In addition, APT Management Services will receive $300,000 to study the conversion of the Parmelia gas pipeline into a 100 per cent hydrogen pipeline.

Global Energy Ventures has also secured $300,000 to evaluate the technical and commercial feasibility of exporting green hydrogen to the Asia-Pacific from the Gascoyne utilising a compressed hydrogen shipping solution.

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