APA began testing 43 kilometres of the pipeline last year, with early results indicating it can carry 100 per cent hydrogen without any need to reduce operating pressure. Under the MoU, a jointly-funded pre-feasibility study will determine whether green hydrogen can be transported by the Parmelia gas pipeline to WesCEF‘s production facilities in Kwinana.
APA CEO and managing director Rob Wheals announced he is pleased with the new partnership.
“This study could be a game-changer for the transportation of green hydrogen by supporting Australia’s first potential conversion of a natural gas transmission pipeline to 100 per cent hydrogen-ready,” he said.
“Hydrogen won’t be delivered at scale through trucks and trains – we will need large scale interconnected networks which can bring the benefit of resources to our industry hubs, cities and homes.”
If the feasibility study is successful, it could allow the Parmelia gas pipeline to become a pure renewable service, one that could facilitate the production of green ammonia and other sustainable chemicals.
It could will also help WesCEF to decarbonise its operations at Kwinana; currently, these facilities are responsible for the production and distribution of many essential products within agricultural, construction and mining industries, as well as household energy used for cooking, hot water and heating.
According to WesCEF’s managing director Ian Hansen, the project would change the economics of green hydrogen at Kwinana.
“WesCEF has a successful history in decarbonising its operations, achieving a 40 per cent reduction in emissions during the first phase of its decarbonisation journey. Projects like this can unlock further reductions in emissions,” he said.
“WesCEF sees partnerships with industry leading organisations like APA as critical to delivering on its recently announced target of net zero emissions by 2050. We see collaboration as fundamental to unlocking decarbonisation opportunities across our value chains.”
Phase two testing has commenced in a state-of-the-art testing lab the University of Wollongong, in partnership with the Future Fuels Cooperative Research Centre and supported by a $300,000 grant from the Western Australian government. This involves testing the pipeline materials in a gaseous hydrogen environment and comparing its performance against the results from phase one.
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