17 May 2021

Leading Australian energy infrastructure business, APA Group, has joined Energy Estate’s Hunter Hydrogen Network (H2N) project in an effort to enable Australia’s first ‘hydrogen valley’.

The Hunter Hydrogen Network (H2N) proposal is a large-scale hydrogen production, transportation and export project that proposes to enable the development of the hydrogen economy in the Hunter Valley in partnership with hydrogen users and exporters.

APA, through its Pathfinder Program joins AGL, global equipment suppliers ITM Power, global energy suppliers and traders Idemitsu and Trafigura, and renewable energy developers RES Australia and WalchaEnergy to assess the scope and concept of the project and conduct due diligence.

Energy Estate’s Hunter Hydrogen Network (H2N) proposal will look at opportunities to create a ‘hydrogen valley’ around the renewable energy resources of the Central West, New England, and the Hunter-Central Coast renewable energy zones.

“We are excited to continue to roll out initiatives under our Pathfinder Program that can support a lower carbon future and potentially unlock Australia’s unrivalled advantages in hydrogen,” APA Group Executive for Transformation and Technology, Hannah McCaughey, said.

“The Hunter Hydrogen Network aims to leverage the efficiencies of the project partners to create a Hunter hydrogen economy that supports the region and takes advantage of NSW’s renewable energy resources.

“Our Pathfinder Program is looking at hydrogen energy solutions of the future as well as other innovations and technologies that will help APA leverage its existing capabilities.

“Pathfinder will be a key enabler in our efforts to support a lower carbon future and our ambition to achieve net zero operations emissions by 2050.”

The first stage of the Hunter Hydrogen Network (H2N) aims to produce green hydrogen and associated green feedstock for mining, vehicles and other industrial uses in the Upper Hunter.

The second phase of the project will assess the transportation of hydrogen through a dedicated hydrogen pipeline to Newcastle, supplying future local users and exporters.

APA will assess the scope and concept of the Hunter Hydrogen Network (H2N) project further, including the concept of a dedicated hydrogen pipeline, and continue its due diligence as part of the initial phase of the partnership.

APA’s first Pathfinder Program pilot project, announced earlier this year, proposes to enable the conversion of 43-kilometres of Parmelia Gas Pipeline in Western Australia into Australia’s first 100 per cent hydrogen-ready transmission pipeline, which would make it one of only a few existing gas transmission pipelines in the world, 100 per cent hydrogen-ready.

“While gas will continue to play a critical part in our energy mix, APA also understands that there are opportunities in supporting the development of technologies that can support Australia’s transition to a low carbon economy,” Ms McCaughey said.