Iberdrola to invest more than €1.1B to build a green hydrogen and methanol plant in Australia; Bell Bay Powerfuels
Iberdrola Australia and Australia-based hydrogen developer ABEL Energy will build a green hydrogen and green methanol production plant at Bell Bay in northern Tasmania (Australia). The project, called Bell Bay Powerfuels, is backed by the Australian government and will involve an investment of €1.1 billion.
The Bell Bay Powerfuels Project will incorporate one of the largest electrolyzer units—more than100MW—to be installed in Australia by 2025. Green hydrogen from the plant will be available for domestic customers. Hydrogen will also be reacted onsite with biogenic carbon to produce green methanol, circa 200,000 tonnes per year in the first phase of development, rising to 300,000 tonnes in its second phase. First production is scheduled for 2025.
The methanol will be targeted for export and domestic use, especially for ships, heavy-duty engines and fuel cells. A small dimethyl ether (DME) plant will be built either onsite or at another location, producing renewable DME from methanol for local industry.
Overall Bell Bay facility flow scheme including key processing units, inputs and products. Source: ABEL Energy
Iberdrola is developing 60 renewable and green hydrogen initiatives in eight different countries. Its goal is to reach 35,000 tonnes of hydrogen per year by 2025 and more than 350,000 tonnes per year by 2030. To this end, the company has a project portfolio of 2,400 MW in different regions, mainly in Spain, the United States and Australia.
Iberdrola says that the use of hydrogen should focus on applications where there are no other alternatives. That is, for the replacement of grey hydrogen (produced from fossil fuels) with green hydrogen (produced by renewables) in sectors where it is currently used, such as fertilizers, methanol or refineries.
Iberdrola has made a strong commitment to the Australian energy market from 2020 with the acquisition of Infigen Energy, Australia’s leading renewable energy company. The company will invest between 2 and 3 billion euros in Australia with the aim of boosting the switch to renewables in the country and reaching 4,000 MW in the coming years.
The bid adds to the $2 billion invested by the company so far in projects such as the Avonlie solar farm and the Flyers Creek wind farm in New South Wales, and the Port Augusta renewable energy farm in South Australia, the largest hybrid wind-solar farm in the southern hemisphere.
Iberdrola acquired in the first half ot his year the rights to the world’s largest wind farm at Mount James, with 1,000 MW; the 360 MW Broadsound photovoltaic plant in Queensland; and has invested in a smart solutions business, Autonomous Energy, which offers tailored energy products for commercial and industrial companies.
The company has currently installed 1,122 MW of renewables (wind, solar and batteries). In addition, it is building two new facilities with a combined capacity of 391 MW, which are scheduled for commissioning in 2023.