Northern Territory’s chief minister Michael Gunner has painted a dramatic picture for the territory’s transformation to a high-tech, green region of the future, with hydrogen deemed critical to powering this path.
Among the projects singled out in Mr Gunner’s speech, titled The Year Ahead, he described Global Energy Ventures’ (ASX: GEV) green hydrogen project on the Tiwi Islands off the NT, as one to watch with “great excitement”.
“Japan — currently our biggest gas customer — sees itself becoming a hydrogen society.”
“Like us, it wants to be net zero by 2025,” he continued.
“Unlike us, Japan and many of our regional neighbours do not have the elbow room to make hydrogen.”
Project now moving into environmental permitting stage
Last month Global Energy Ventures announced that the 2022 development program at Tiwi green hydrogen project is under way with an initial focus on environmental permitting.
The company plans to develop a 2.8-gigawatt solar generation operation at the Tiwi Islands, that will include developing a fully integrated green hydrogen production and export supply chain.
This will include a fleet of compression-hydrogen carrier vessels to deliver the 100,000 tonnes per annum of hydrogen, which will be exported throughout the Asia Pacific.
The first phase of the project will involve 0.5GW of installed solar generation, growing to the full 2.8GW in line with growth of the regional market for hydrogen.
The 2022 program is fully funded.
NT needs to move toward hydrogen: ‘what world needs’
Mr Gunner spelled out the importance of hydrogen fuel.
“While we know our incredible gas resources will sustain us now, we must move towards hydrogen because, globally, that’s what customers want — and it’s what the world needs,” he said.
The chief minister noted that Global Energy Ventures had won a social licence on the Tiwi Islands with its low environmental footprint.
The first hydrogen exports are projected to start in 2026.
“Solar arrays will be built on existing plantation and hydrogen will be produced, compressed and loaded for export on the existing on the existing industrial precinct and [in] the port area for export,” he said.
Other projects included in the chief minister’s review were the Darwin-Jakarta-Singapore cable (the first fibre link between the NT and Singapore), a $150 million new data centre in Darwin’s CBD, NASA launching three sub-orbital rockets from the Arnhem Space Centre, plans to have a battery plant in the territory’s capital, new flying boats to be built at Darwin, and the Desert Bloom hydrogen plan involving capturing water from the atmosphere in arid environments.