South Korea’s KEPCO and Western Green Energy Hub (WGEH) have signed a memorandum of understanding to develop one of Australia’s largest green hydrogen hubs.
The 15,000-square-kilometre hub will be in Western Australia’s Goldfields Esperance region on the land of the Mirning people. It will generate 50 GW of electricity using 3,000 wind turbines and 25 million solar panels.
Once complete, the hub can potentially produce more than 3.5 million tonnes of green hydrogen for use in power generation, shipping fuel, mineral processing and manufacturing. WGEH will supply the green hydrogen to local and international customers, including South Korea.
Partnering with local communities
WGEH is the corporate entity developing the project. It comprises 3 shareholders – InterContinental Energy and CWP Global, both international developers and investors of large-scale green hydrogen hubs; and Mirning Green Energy Limited, a commercial entity of the Mirning Traditional Lands Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC.
The WGEH project will partner with local and regional communities to help grow their economies. Integral to this will be the involvement of the Mirning people, the Traditional Custodians of the land on which the project will take place. The Mirning people will have an equity stake in the project and a permanent seat on the Board.
‘This new partnership is recognition of the work we have done to date and, perhaps more importantly, it recognises the opportunities that lie ahead,’ says Ray Macdonald, WGEH’s CEO.
‘This includes the present update of the Australian Government national hydrogen strategy and the opportunity for priority promotion of regional development, indigenous participation, and a new green export industry for Australia.
‘Projects like WGEH are large and complex and bringing in KEPCO, a proven partner and developer of large-scale infrastructure projects, is invaluable.’
How Austrade helped
Austrade briefed KEPCO on Australia’s 20 major green hydrogen/ammonia projects in July 2022. Austrade then introduced KEPCO to InterContinental Energy, the operator of WGEH. In August 2022, the President of InterContinental Energy spoke at the Australian Clean Energy Market seminar at the H2MEET conference. The seminar, organised by Austrade, attracted over 100 people from the Korean clean energy industry.
In addition to KEPCO, Austrade has introduced the WGEH project to dozens of Korean energy companies for possible partnerships. Austrade has also introduced KEPCO to other clean energy projects in Australia.
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Published: 2 August 2023