Iberdrola and ABEL Energy to work on green hydrogen and methanol project

Clean energy company Iberdrola Australia has partnered with hydrogen developer ABEL Energy for a green hydrogen and green methanol project at the Bell Bay production facility, known as the Bell Bay Powerfuels Project, in northern Tasmania.

Courtesy of ABEL Energy

Iberdrola said that the total estimated capital requirement for the methanol and renewable energy project is in the order of A$1.7 billion (around $1.1 billion), and the technology required to design and build it is being accessed from around the world.

“We are delighted to be combining Iberdrola’s global expertise in green hydrogen technologies with ABEL Energy’s local knowledge and business momentum. Iberdrola Australia was attracted to the Bell Bay Powerfuels Project because of its integrated nature, combining both renewable generation investments with green hydrogen capacity investment and its collaborative approach to creating shared value for Tasmanian stakeholders over the long-term,” said Ross Rolfe AO, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Iberdrola Australia.

According to Iberdrola, the scale of the Bell Bay Powerfuels Project, at 200,000 tonnes per year of green methanol for stage one, and an increase of 300,000 tonnes per year for stage two, will make it one of the largest such projects in the world.

Earlier in the year, ABEL Energy, with a A$555,000 (around $373,000) hydrogen funding grant from the Tasmanian Government, conducted a A$1.3 million (around $873,000) feasibility study and Knowledge-Sharing Report on the facility.

ABEL Energy said that the Bell Bay Powerfuels Project will incorporate one of the largest electrolyser units, over 100MW, to be installed in Australia by 2025, noting that pure green hydrogen from the plant will be available for domestic customers.

Michael van Baarle, ABEL Energy Co-founder & CEO, said: “We are delighted to have Iberdrola’s support as a financial and project partner… Together, we can harness Tasmania’s excellent hydro and wind resources to produce hydrogen via electrolysis of water, and then use that hydrogen to produce green methanol for the burgeoning green maritime fuel market and other applications.”

He noted that the world’s major shipping companies have been placing orders for very large ships designed to run on ultra-clean-burning green methanol which has many benefits such as eliminating air pollution in ports, avoiding the risk of catastrophic oil spills in sensitive marine environments, and especially reducing greenhouse gas emissions currently generated by fossil fuel use.

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Baarle concluded: “ABEL Energy and Iberdrola are looking forward to establishing a new future-proof climate-tech industry for the Tamar Valley community which can play an important role for generations of Tasmanians, as well as kick-starting a commercial-scale green hydrogen industry in Australia.”

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