bp will take a 40.5 per cent equity stake in the Asian Renewable Energy Hub (AREH) north-east of Port Hedland in Western Australia.
The Western Australian Government said it welcomed the move by the oil and gas company to become the majority shareholder and operator of one of the largest renewable energy projects in the world.
The Government granted the project Lead Agency Status in 2018 and an exclusive license to collect resource data, and has been working closely with Intercontinental Energy and bp to get the project to this stage.
AREH is expected to generate up to 26 gigawatts of combined wind and solar capacity and produce 1.6 million tonnes of green hydrogen or nine million tonnes of green ammonia each year. The project will play a key role in Western Australia’s energy transition.
The provision of low-cost green energy to Pilbara communities and industry would create thousands of jobs and catalyse significant new manufacturing and mineral processing opportunities for WA.
AREH will also contribute to the clean energy aspirations of WA’s neighbours and key trading partners and contribute towards energy security in the Asian region.
Cheap, clean energy can also support new and expanded industries, downstream mineral processing, and large scale production of green hydrogen and ammonia products for domestic and export markets.
Hydrogen industry minister Alannah MacTiernan said bp’s commitment to the Hub was a significant vote of confidence for the next stage of development of the WA renewable hydrogen industry.
“The project will transform the Pilbara, create thousands of jobs and be a major contributor to global efforts to decarbonise the economy, and provide the low-cost energy to underpin downstream processing of our mineral wealth,” he said.
“A project of this scale will require new supply chain facilities for the manufacture and assembly of equipment for wind, solar and hydrogen generation, which will create new, local, high-value jobs.
“The announcement reinforces Western Australia’s credentials as a world-class investment destination for green energy generation, including the production of exportable commodities, like green hydrogen and ammonia and green steel.”