Keppel intensifies its efforts in production and use of hydrogen and ammonia

To boost its efforts in the production and use of green hydrogen and ammonia as low-carbon energy sources, Singapore-based Keppel Corporation has joined the Central Queensland hydrogen (CQ-H2) project consortium to develop a large-scale green hydrogen project in Australia and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with technology supplier Incitec Pivot Limited (IPL) on an industrial-scale green ammonia production facility in Australia.

The CQ-H2 project involves the development of a hydrogen production facility, hydrogen gas pipeline and hydrogen liquefaction facility, as well as supply of hydrogen to an ammonia production facility.

According to Keppel, the project aims to produce renewable hydrogen, scalable to up to around 2,500 MW equivalent, and deliver it via its different carriers to Japan and Singapore, as well as supply large domestic customers in Central Queensland.

Keppel said the consortium, comprising Stanwell Corporation, Iwatani Corporation, Kansai Electric Power Company, Marubeni Corporation and Keppel, has initiated a front-end engineering and design (FEED) study with a final investment decision (FID) planned for late 2024 and commercial operations targeted to commence in 2028.

The company noted that participation in the consortium provides it with a competitive advantage of having access to a ready and reliable source of green hydrogen as feedstock for a green ammonia production facility which it plans to develop with IPL and other potential partners.

It further said that its and IPL’s aim is to explore the development of green ammonia for both domestic and overseas consumption, including an end-to-end export supply chain to Singapore and Asia.

The Keppel-IPL MoU follows from an earlier feasibility study that the two, together with Temasek, commenced in 2021 on producing green ammonia in Australia for export.

“Following the favourable findings of the studies, this MoU advances the next phase which involves the development of up to around 850,000 tonnes per annum of green ammonia production, as well as the related export facilities at Gladstone in Queensland, Australia,” Keppel stated.

Cindy Lim, CEO of Keppel’s Infrastructure Division, commented: “Through Keppel’s involvement in the CQ-H2 consortium, and our partnership with Incitec Pivot, we are redoubling our efforts in making green hydrogen and ammonia reliable and commercially viable energy sources.”

Jeanne Johns, Managing Director & CEO of IPL, said: “IPL is pleased to be progressing this exciting opportunity with Keppel and the Queensland Government… This innovative international partnership with Keppel is one of several decarbonisation projects we are progressing as part of our ambition to be Net Zero by 2050.”

Cameron Dick, Queensland’s Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment, stated: “Queensland Treasury has had a key role in facilitating and funding the Central Queensland hydrogen project. After a number of discussions with Keppel, we are delighted the company and Incitec Pivot have chosen Gladstone for their green ammonia production facility. This will open exciting and significant export possibilities, let alone regional jobs.”

To note, Gladstone, Queensland has been identified as one of seven clean hydrogen hubs across the country in Australia’s National Hydrogen Strategy, and in October 2022, the governments of Australia and Singapore signed a Green Economy Agreement to advance trade and environmental sustainability, including collaborating on low emissions solutions and hydrogen for maritime use.

In April this year, energy company Woodside and Keppel Data Centres signed a non-binding heads of agreement (HoA) to evaluate the potential supply of liquid hydrogen to Singapore from Woodside’s production facilities.

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