Leading renewable energy company Pacific Hydro will seek local and international partners as it continues to explore the potential to build a renewable hydrogen plant near Kununurra.

The company has completed a technical study to assess whether green hydrogen and ammonia could be produced using renewable energy generated by The Ord River Hydro Power Plant.

The study, which considered things like current and future technologies, supply chains, potential markets, water usage, footprint, transport and approval requirements, found it was technically feasible to produce hydrogen or ammonia for local consumption, as well as for export.

Pacific Hydro will now consider whether it is commercially feasible to proceed with the project and has begun exploring partnerships with transportation companies and potential purchasers both locally and internationally.

Engagement will also continue with traditional owners and the broader community as development work progresses in 2021.

Pacific Hydro’s Director of Strategy and New Business, James Miller-Randle, said governments around the world had recognised hydrogen’s potential to help in the transition to a low-carbon economy.

“Australia is positioning itself to be a leading developer of green hydrogen, and the East Kimberley is uniquely placed for this being located close to key export markets.”

“We are also looking at the potential to produce ammonia from hydrogen, which could be used to make fertiliser for the local agricultural industry,” he said.

Pacific Hydro has identified the former council quarry on Crossing Falls Road, about 10km south-east of Kununurra, as a potential location for the plant.

If the project proceeds, Pacific Hydro will be required to investigate any potential environmental, community and cultural impacts during the design and development phase.

“From our engagement during 2020, we understand that water use is of critical importance to the community and this is something we will be investigating further this year,” Mr Miller-Randle said.

“With the closure of the Argyle Diamond Mine, we also know that jobs and other opportunities for locals are important to the local community.”

“We’re committed to working closely with the council, traditional owners, local employers and other local stakeholders as the project progresses.”

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