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Study assessing hydrogen in DBP wins funding

The West Australian Government will help fund a feasibility study assessing the viability of blending hydrogen into a major natural gas pipeline.

An 18-month study will be undertaken to evaluate the possibility of introducing hydrogen to the feedstock mix in the Dampier to Bunbury Natural Gas Pipeline (DBP), with WA’s Peel, Pilbara and Mid-West regional precincts to be the focus of the study, along with the Perth metropolitan area.

Today WA Minister for Regional Development Alannah MacTiernan announced the state government would provide $216,000 under the Renewable Hydrogen Fund to the DBP study, while pipeline owner and operator Australian Gas Infrastructure Group (AGIG) would contribute a further $234,000.

The DBP runs approximately 1,600 km linking gas fields in the Perth and offshore Carnarvon basins to mining, industrial and commercial customers, as well as residential customers through links to other distribution networks.

The route of the Dampier to Bunbury Natural Gas Pipeline.

The state government’s contribution is part of a wider $1.68 million round of funding for the hydrogen industry in WA, with money being directed towards other feasibility studies including a hydrogen production facility near Kununurra and the potential for a hydrogen production plant in the Great Southern or Wheatbelt.

“WA needs to explore how we can produce, use and provide energy to our international partners through clean and reliable sources – renewable energy via hydrogen provides a means to do this,” said Minister MacTiernan.

“These feasibility studies will facilitate significant private sector investment and leverage financial support for a job-creating renewable hydrogen industry in WA.”

AGIG is already undertaking activities in South Australia to blend hydrogen into existing natural gas networks, with the HyP SA project expected to initially deliver the blended energy source to 750 residential customers by June this year.

AGIG CEO Ben Wilson said the company had a responsibility to decarbonise natural gas transmission assets, but the DBP was a step up in scale from HyP SA.

“Project developers have already approached AGIG requesting to blend hydrogen into our pipeline,” said Mr Wilson.

“AGIG generally supports these projects but we must only proceed in a manner that ensures public safety is maintained, and there is currently no predefined method of introducing hydrogen into such large-scale assets as the Dampier to Bunbury link.

“AGIG is prepared to invest therefore in a number of studies to determine the best manner of introducing hydrogen into the DBP.”

Mr Wilson said success on this project could not only help supply Perth metropolitan customers with gas blended with hydrogen, but also expand the number of remote area hydrogen applications, as the DBP is the primary gas transmission line supplying remote northwest Australia.

The DBP feasibility study is expected to be completed in June 2021.

For more information visit the AGIG website.

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