Six players selected for the Mid West hub
The West Australian government has allocated land in the Oakajee Strategic Industrial Area to FFI, bp, Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, Green LOHC, Kinara Power and Blue Diamond Australia. Located just north of Geraldton (and four hundred kilometers north of WA’s capital city Perth), the Oakajee SIA is adjacent to huge solar & wind generating potential, and is envisioned to become a renewable hydrogen-based industrial precinct & export hub.
The Mid West hub would include a brand new deep water port, and potentially iron ore processing & export facilities. A dedicated iron ore export hub was the original plan for Oakajee, but small projected export volumes didn’t justify project costs. Fortescue is now exploring a potential green hydrogen & ammonia production facility at the site, and is reportedly confident that the region “could support a major renewable energy hub”.
Huge renewable potential in Oakajee
In an analysis presented to the WA state government in 2020, consulting body Advisian ranks Oakajee onshore wind potential in the Excellent (8.4 m/s) to Very Good (7.5 m/s) range, with offshore wind speeds of over 9 m/s. Coupled with a capacity factor of 50%, this wind resource ranks among the highest in the world. Solar irradiance potential (max. 2100 kWh/m2) is also very high, allowing the possibility for a 1.5 GW wind+solar hybrid generation setup, with firming (gas, battery or grid) to guarantee power for industrial operations.