Hydrogen project talks progress

Published date23 June 2022
Publication titleSouthland Express
Southern Green Hydrogen, a joint venture between Meridian Energy and Contact Energy, was formed last year and is investigating the use of renewable energy at Tiwai Point to produce green hydrogen at scale, once the supply agreement with New Zealand Aluminium Smelters finishes at the end of 2024

Meridian development general manager Guy Waipara said yesterday that while the project was intended to be operational by 2027, the work was tracking well with Australian companies Woodside Energy and Fortescue Future Industries having entered final-stage negotiations to become lead developer of the project.

‘‘Both companies are really good and have strong proposals so that is the reason why we gave ourselves until the end of August to make this difficult decision,’’ Mr Waipara said.

Among the points to be considered were their technical capability to take on such a large-scale project, commercial aspects and the benefits for the community, he said.

One of the ideas of the venture was to be able to reduce hydrogen production in the dry months to allow electricity to flow back into the grid to support homes and businesses.

Mr Waipara said the lead developer of the project would be announced by the end of the year and then the project would enter the detailed design and engineering assessments phase, with construction planned to start by 2024.

‘‘Our aim is to be operational by 2027-28,’’ he...

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