Provaris Energy (ASX: PV1) has lodged a referral submission to the Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority for its proposed 2.8 gigawatt Tiwi H2 project on the Tiwi Islands.
The company is developing green hydrogen production and export facilities on Melville Island, where the hydrogen will be manufactured through the electrolysis of purified sea water, and powered by solar energy.
The referral submission was prepared with the support of Darwin-based EcOz Environmental Consultants and included technical and engineering studies for elements of the project including the solar site, transmission line, and desalination, electrolysis and compression facilities.
It aims to show that the project will promote a safe, sustainable and efficient supply chain for exporting green hydrogen to the Asia Pacific region in a way that minimises environmental and social impacts.
Production volumes from the Tiwi H2 project are expected to reach 100,000 tonnes of hydrogen per annum when it commences exports in 2027.
Provaris expects a response from the NT EPA by October.
Managing director and chief executive officer Martin Carolan said the referral submission was a significant step forward for the company.
“This is a key milestone for Provaris as we continue to demonstrate the benefits of compressed hydrogen as an export carrier compared to alternatives which require mega-scale and capital as well as energy-intensive processes for conversion to transport and re-conversion back to hydrogen,” he said.
“Our project offers the Northern Territory and Australia a first mover advantage for the export of green hydrogen into Asia.”
Tiwi H2 has the potential to be Australia’s first exporter of gaseous green hydrogen.
It is located on existing plantation land within Port Melville and Provaris is committed to minimising environmental impacts (when compared to the selection of a greenfield site) and development time and costs.
It also provides proximity and access to future demand markets in the Asia Pacific.
The project consists of a 26.4 square kilometre solar precinct; a 1.5sq km transmission line corridor for the transport of power from the solar precinct to a 0.4sq km production hub; and a 0.32sq km export precinct where the end product will be loaded onto Provaris’ proprietary compressed hydrogen ships.
Construction is targeted to commence in 2024 and will be carried out in stages, allowing hydrogen production and export volumes to increase over time in line with customer demand.
This approach will allow Provaris to benefit from ongoing capital cost reductions across the supply chain, and maintain an “acceptable level” of construction workforce in relation to local communities.