On 20 July 2020, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) announced that seven companies have been shortlisted to advance to the full application stage of ARENA's Renewable Hydrogen Deployment Funding Round (Funding Round).

ARENA aims to provide funding of up to $70 million to support at least two projects that involve the deployment of a new-build electrolyser as part of either a brownfield or greenfield project for the production of renewable hydrogen. The Funding Round is an effort to support the Australian Government's aim of building a world-class hydrogen industry.  This includes seeking to fast track the achievement of the Australian Government's goal of producing renewables-based hydrogen for less than $2 per kilogram, also described as “H2 under $2”.

The seven shortlisted applicants (selected from a field of 36) are:

  • APT Management Services Pty Limited;
  • ATCO Australia Pty Ltd;
  • Australian Gas Networks Limited;
  • BHP Billiton Nickel West Pty Ltd;
  • Engie Renewables Australia Pty Ltd;
  • Macquarie Corporate Holdings Pty Limited; and
  • Woodside Energy Ltd.

According to ARENA, all shortlisted applicants have well developed projects that involve deploying 10MW or larger electrolysers, made up of various end uses including transport, gas injection, renewable ammonia production, power and industrial use. Four of the projects are based in Western Australia, and one each in Queensland, Tasmania and Victoria.

The projects seek $200 million in grant funding in total towards a collective project value of almost $500 million.

All applicants may also be considered for financing from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation under the corporation's $300 million Advancing Hydrogen Fund.

Applicants must submit their full application by 20 January 2021. Successful applicants will be issued a non-binding offer to negotiate a Funding Agreement (expected to occur in mid-2021). A recipient of an offer must provide ARENA with a bid bond of $500,000 within 20 business days of the date of the offer.

Financial close is expected to occur by late 2021 and construction is expected to commence in 2022. The selected hydrogen projects are speculated to be among some of the largest electrolysers in the world.

Access the media release by ARENA here and the blog post by ARENAWIRE here.

Originally published by Johnson, Winter & Slattery, August 2020

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