17 October 2022

ENGIE to build one of the world’s largest renewable hydrogen plants in Australia

ENGIE will build one of the world’s first industrial-scale renewable hydrogen projects in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

The A$87 million Yuri project includes:

  • a 10-megawatt (MW) electrolyser to produce renewable hydrogen
  • an 18 MW solar PV system to power the electrolyser
  • an 8 MW / 5 MWh lithium-ion battery.

Once completed, the electrolyser will be the largest in Australia.

Joint venture with Japan’s Mitsui & Co. Ltd

ENGIE has formed a subsidiary called Yuri to develop the project. It has entered into a joint venture with Mitsui & Co. Ltd. to operate the project. Mitsui will acquire a 28% stake in the Yuri subsidiary.

‘We have a strong pipeline of renewables, storage and hydrogen projects in Australia,’ says ENGIE Australia & New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Andrew Hyland.

‘As each one of these projects reaches financial close, construction and commissioning, we get closer to decarbonising our economy and realising our ambitious net zero targets.’

Supplying green hydrogen for Yara’s world-scale ammonia plant

Yuri will build the plant adjacent to Yara Australia’s world-scale ammonia production facility in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. The plant will produce up to 640 tonnes of renewable hydrogen a year for the facility. Yara Australia is a unit of Norway’s Yara International, the world’s leading crop nutrition company.

The Yara facility is one of the largest ammonia production sites in the world. It will be the first established operational facilities in Western Australia to receive and use green hydrogen molecules to produce clean ammonia.

Yara Pilbara General Manager Laurent Trost says Project Yuri is a transformational project for the company’s processing operations in the Pilbara.

‘Yuri is a key step in the decarbonisation of our operations, which already supply markets in Asia and Australia,’ Trost says.

Yuri will start building the plant in October 2022. It is slated for completion by early 2024.

A group of people stand in the Australian outback with a hydrogen processing plant in the background

Government support

The Yuri project received A$47.5 million from the Australian Government’s ARENA Renewable Hydrogen Deployment Funding Round. ARENA (the Australian Renewable Energy Agency) has supported 628 projects with A$1.86 billion in grant funding since 2012.

The project is also receiving A$2 million from the Renewable Hydrogen Fund as part of the Western Australian Government’s Renewable Hydrogen Strategy.

How Austrade helped

Austrade supported all three companies involved in the Yuri project. Over 5 years, the agency’s global network of investment directors provided comprehensive advice to help the 3 parties achieve their desired outcomes.

Among other support, Austrade provided:

  • information on Australia’s hydrogen strategy and grants and incentives programs
  • introductions to government agencies and key stakeholders
  • invitations to international hydrogen events.

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