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Australian energy producer Woodside has secured a long-term land lease for its H2TAS hydrogen plant, with the proposed plant to be located in the Austrak Business Park (Long Reach) in the Bell Bay area of northern Tasmania.

Woodside and Austrak have agreed an exclusive option for a long-term lease for the partially cleared site.

The secured and is another step forward in the company’s plans for large-scale production of renewable hydrogen and ammonia.

The proposed H2TAS project is a renewable hydrogen project to be constructed east of the Bell Bay Advanced Manufacturing Zone, a heavy industrial precinct north of Launceston.

Woodside said Tasmania recognises the value of developing a hydrogen hub in the Bell Bay area that can capitalise on the state’s advantages in renewable energy generation.

In January 2021, Woodside signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the State of Tasmania, which outlined the Tasmanian Government’s support for the H2TAS Project.

H2TAS is a phased development with the potential to support up to 1.7GW of electrolysis for hydrogen and ammonia production.

The initial phase would have capacity of up to 300MW and target production of 200,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) of ammonia, matched to forecast customer demand.

H2TAS would use a combination of hydropower and wind power to create a 100 per cent renewable ammonia product for export as well as renewable hydrogen for domestic use.

Woodside announced in May 2021 a project consortium under a Heads of Agreement with Japanese companies Marubeni Corporation and IHI Corporation.

The parties have completed initial feasibility studies and concluded that it is technically and commercially feasible to export ammonia to Japan from the Bell Bay area.

Woodside CEO, Meg O’Neill, said H2TAS aligned with the company’s strategy to develop new energy projects that were customer-led and scalable to market demand, adding lower-carbon products and services to its international portfolio of world-class energy assets.

“H2TAS is already garnering interest from existing and prospective Woodside customers in Asia and Europe,” Ms O’Neill said.

“Combined with our landmark H2Perth project announced last month, H2TAS will help to position Australia as a global leader in this emerging industry.

“Importantly, this project would also create local construction and operational jobs and new opportunities for Tasmanian businesses.”

Woodside is targeting a final investment decision in 2023, with construction and commissioning expected to take approximately 24 months.

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