16 C
Byron Shire
October 4, 2022

Hydrogen plant to be built in Pilbara

Latest News

Surf films make a splash at Byron Bay Film Festival

Surfing is a central part of Byron Bay’s identity and this year’s surf films are certain to bring the whole community together in a celebration of athleticism, wild seas and sheer joy in our exquisite environment.

Other News

Short films grace the screen from Oct 21

The Byron Bay International Film Festival is back from October 21 to 30 with a ten-day program of premieres, panels and parties.

$30 million Aboriginal Community and Place Grants

Eligible Aboriginal community organisations and groups can apply for funding through the new solutions-focused $30 million Aboriginal Community and Place Grants program.

Bundjalung art market

This year the region’s favourite Art on Bundjalung Market is coming to Kyogle on Saturday 22 October. The event...

Editorial – Break out the bubbly for Budget Estimates

Budget Estimates is truly one of the most revealing and best educational services that the NSW government offers. MPs from the opposition grill ministers and agency bosses without mercy, for hours. 

Consideration of state significant farmland for SUGA development leaves bitter taste

One of Ballina Shire Council’s independents is continuing to argue against suggested expansions of development between the plateau villages of Alstonville and Wollongbar.

Police pursuit after ute and motorbike stolen

NSW Police were at Pat Smith Park in Dulguigan, after reports a motorcycle had been stolen. As they arrived two males fled the scene, one on a motorcycle and the other in an Isuzu utility. The utility failed to stop for police and a pursuit was initiated.

One of the world’s largest renewable hydrogen plants is due to be built in the Pilbara, after the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) conditionally approved $47.5 million towards ENGIE’s renewable hydrogen and ammonia project near Karratha in Western Australia.

The $87 million Yuri project includes a 10 megawatt (MW) electrolyser to produce renewable hydrogen, 18 MW solar PV system to power the electrolyser and 8 MW / 5 MWh lithium-ion battery for firming, and will supply hydrogen and electricity to Yara Pilbara Fertilisers at its neighbouring liquid ammonia facility. Once completed, the project will be Australia’s largest electrolyser, capable of producing up to 640 tonnes of renewable hydrogen per year.

The project is supported by the Australian Government with a $47.5 million grant conditionally approved through ARENA’s Renewable Hydrogen Deployment Funding Round. The project is also receiving $2 million funding from the Western Australian Government’s Renewable Hydrogen Fund as part of the WA’s Renewable Hydrogen Strategy.

Construction completed by early 2024

The project is expected to reach financial close by the end of September. Construction will commence in October and be completed by early 2024.

ENGIE Renewables Australia Pty Ltd (ENGIE) has formed a subsidiary called Yuri to develop the project. Mitsui & Co. Ltd (Mitsui) has agreed to acquire a 28 per cent stake in the Yuri subsidiary subject to satisfaction of certain conditions under its investment agreement. ENGIE and Mitsui intend to operate the Yuri project through this joint venture company.

In 2019, ARENA supported Yara with a $995,000 grant to investigate the feasibility of a renewable hydrogen and ammonia facility in the Pilbara. Positive outcomes of that study underpin the business case for the Yuri project.

Renewable electricity to split water

Electrolysers can utilise renewable electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. The renewable hydrogen produced can be used as a feedstock for chemicals such as ammonia, combusted for heat or electricity generation, or used as a zero emissions transport fuel. Ammonia is most commonly used to produce agricultural fertilisers which is currently made using hydrogen derived from fossil fuels.

Ammonia production is a highly energy intensive process, producing about 500 million tonnes of carbon dioxide as a result, which is around 1.8 per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions, similar in scale to the aviation industry.

Yuri will be funded under ARENA’s Renewable Hydrogen Deployment Funding Round, which was announced in 2020 to support the first generation of large scale renewable hydrogen plants in Australia. Funding was made available for projects larger than 5 MW, with ARENA announcing the three successful applicants in May 2021.

Two other successful applicants

ARENA is working with the other two successful applicants to progress their projects to financial close.

ARENA has previously committed over $88 million to renewable hydrogen projects spanning feasibility studies, small-scale electrolyser demonstrations, gas blending trials and vehicle deployments.

ARENA CEO Darren Miller said building the first hydrogen projects at scale is an important step in Australia’s journey to become a major exporter of renewable hydrogen. ‘The Yuri project is Australia’s first really substantial renewable hydrogen project, and it is one of the largest so far in the world.

Vital to reducing emissions

‘Whether it’s for decarbonising fertiliser production, or for use as a zero-emissions fuel, renewable hydrogen will be vital to reducing emissions in so-called hard-to-abate sectors. It is also a huge export opportunity for Australia to provide clean energy and emissions-free materials to the rest of the world. This is going to be important if we are to achieve zero net emissions in the decades ahead.

‘The Yuri project is exciting because fertiliser production is a significant existing end use for hydrogen and one where we can make an immediate difference because we are replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy to make hydrogen.’

Mr Miller said as the largest hydrogen project of its kind so far in Australia and one of the largest in the world, this project will help us understand the opportunities and challenges for producing renewable hydrogen at scale. ‘This will offer valuable insights into the technical complexities, economics and supply chain considerations for future commercial scale hydrogen electrolyser projects in Australia.’

For more information visit arena.gov.au/renewable-energy/hydrogen/

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. Assuming this is actually economically viable and not just surviving on government grants, then this is good use for unreliable energy sources.

    • Nothing unreliable about the Sun, it shines every day. But somehow you miss events, again and again.
      To add more to your Suntrauma, the Sun will keep on shining for years and and years to come.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Just us, with the wild goat

Simon Haslam I don’t know if you can recall one of those luminous moments in your life when it just seemed to be you, perhaps...

Lambruk Pantry

Simon Haslam Lambruk Pantry is a family-owned local gourmet providore based in the heart of the Byron Shire. If you’re looking for something classy, that’s...

Oliver’s happy hens

‘If you can look after fifty chickens’, Oliver tells me, ‘you might as well look after 500.’ In between a steady stream of customers...

Alstonville takes out top tier of the Oceania Cup

The Oceania Cup delivered exciting and close football for the 19 teams that competed across last weekend at the Alstonville FC’s Crawford Park fields. The...