The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has approved up to $9.41 million in funding to Hazer Group Limited to support the construction and operation of the Hazer Process Commercial Demonstration Project (HPCDP) in Western Australia.
With an estimated capital cost of $15.8 million, the HPCDP is a 100 tonne per annum low emission hydrogen production facility that will be the first large scale, fully integrated deployment of the Hazer Process. This process is an innovative technology which converts bio-methane to renewable hydrogen and graphite using iron ore as a process catalyst.
Hazer plans to sell the renewable hydrogen for industrial applications and is exploring markets for graphite including carbon black, activated carbon and battery anode applications.
In May 2019, Hazer entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Water Corporation. Under the MOU, it is proposed that biogas produced at the Water Corporation’s Woodman Point Waste-Water Treatment Plant in Munster would be used as feedstock to produce hydrogen and graphite. For ease of operations, the HPCDP would be located on the Woodman Point site.
The project’s design and construction phase is scheduled to be completed in December 2020, with operations running from January 2021.
ARENA’s funding is contingent upon a funding agreement being executed subject to conditions including a biogas supply agreement, a hydrogen offtake agreement and Hazer securing sufficient finance for the completion of the project.
Overall, the proposed ARENA funding would account for 41 per cent of the total costs, including a contribution to operating costs.
ARENA CEO, Darren Miller, commented that Hazer’s project represents a new and innovative way to produce renewable hydrogen – which aligns with ARENA’s new investment priority focussed on accelerating hydrogen.
“Renewable hydrogen is typically produced by splitting water molecules using renewable electricity. However, Hazer’s process represents an alternative way to produce hydrogen using biogas sourced from wastewater treatment plants. If successful, this project will offer opportunities to replicate the technology across other treatment plants and landfill sites across Australia,” he said.
“This technology could help set up Australia as an exporter of hydrogen, and open up new market opportunities from the graphite that is produced as a by-product of the hydrogen production process.”