$94B green ammonia hub proposed for the Nullarbor

Companies behind the Asian Renewable Energy Hub and the Mirning People are planning a vast $94B green ammonia hub on WA's south coast.

$94B green ammonia hub proposed for the Nullarbor
Photo by Fiona Smallwood / Unsplash

The companies behind the Pilbara's giant Asian Renewable Energy Hub are doubling up on WA with a proposed $US70 billion ($94billion) project on the Nullarbor.

The Western Green Energy Hub would produce up to 50GW of wind and solar power to make 3.5 million tonnes a year of green hydrogen for the export of 20 million tonnes of green ammonia.

The proposed site stretches more than 200km west of the SA border and in some areas, is more than 100km in the north-south axis. The Trans-Australia railway line forms the site's northern boundary, and the Eyre Highway passes through the coastal part of the site.

Site of the proposed Western Green Energy Hub wind, soalr, ammonia project in Sourh East Western Australia.
Western Green Energy Hub site. Source: InterContinental Energy

The project proponents InterContinental Energy, CWP Global and Mirning Green Energy Limited have secured a WA government license to collect data and develop a feasibility study.

Hydrogen Industry Minister Alannah MacTiernan said the WGEH was a truly massive proposal that would see WA home to one of the world's largest renewable energy projects.

"We look forward to continuing to work with the consortium as they develop their detailed studies and move towards an investment decision," MacTiernan said.

The consortium is targeting a final investment decision after 2028, according to InterContinental Energy.

The 15,000km2 site has access to the coast to allow the ammonia to be exported.

Green fuels produced at the site would meet future demand from power generation, shipping, aviation and heavy industry such as steel, chemicals and mining, according to the WGEH media release.

The green hydrogen sector is predicted to become a US$2.5 trillion market by 2050.

MacTiernan said renewable hydrogen projects were being progressed across the State.

"Importantly, this project is a powerful collaboration between the Mirning traditional owners and industry and would be a transformational opportunity for the community," MacTiernan said.

The Mirning People have carried equity through Mirning Green Energy Limited - a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Mirning Traditional Lands Aboriginal Corporation - and a permanent board seat.

WGEH chair Brendan Hammond said the Hub was working with the Mirning People, the original owners of the land, to create a long-term partnership.

Mirning Traditional Lands Aboriginal Corporation chair Trevor Naley said the Mirning People were excited to hold a stake in the Hub.

"These commitments will encourage our young indigenous people to dream big, knowing that these ambitions can be realised," Naley said.

"Pride in oneself, in culture and community will end the welfare cycle which has plagued many indigenous families."

The $US36 ($48 billion) Asian Renewable Energy Hub is about half the size of today's announcement with an eventual planned build-out to 26WGW of power, 3GW of which is reserved for power sales to the region.

Pilbara green ammonia hub plans to make wind turbines
The $US36 billion Asian Renewable Energy Hub wants to make wind turbine towers as well as ammonia in the Pilbara to overcome logistics issues.

WGEH investors InterContinental Energy and CWP Global also participate in the AREH with Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas and private investment company Pathway Investments.

The Pilbara project had a recent setback when Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley judged it to be "clearly unacceptable" due to the impact on coastal wetlands.

The project plans to resubmit its application. In June, InterContinental Energy project management director Dr Raymond Macdonald said the Asian Renewable Energy Hub was still on track for a final investment decision in 2025.

Main image: Eyre Highway on the Nullarbor Plain in South Australia. Source: Photo by Fiona Smallwood on Unsplash