Progress on renewable conversion project in Australia

FFI and Incitec Pivot advance Gibson Island plans to FEED stage

Aerial view of Gibson Island, where FFI and Incitec Pivot plan to produce renewable hydrogen as feedstock for ammonia production. Source: ARENA.
Click to learn more. Aerial view of Gibson Island, where FFI and Incitec Pivot plan to produce renewable hydrogen as feedstock for ammonia production. Source: ARENA.

Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) and Incitec Pivot will progress plans to convert Incitec Pivot’s Gibson Island ammonia production facility to run on renewable hydrogen feedstock. Front End Engineering Design work will begin immediately, with a framework agreement implemented to steer the project through to FID (expected around 2025). Australian government body ARENA will provide a grant towards the FEED study, contributing AU$13.7 million of the required AU$38 million.

In December 2021, a feasibility study confirmed that construction & integration of a ~500MW hydrogen electrolysis facility at the site was technically feasible, and in March this year FFI signed an agreement to connect the new facility to Queensland’s power grid. Although currently one of the most carbon-intensive electricity grids in the world, the Queensland state government recently set out hugely ambitious decarbonisation targets, aiming to add more than 20 GW of renewable generation to the grid.

Conversion of Gibson Island would provide a lifeline for the plant, which is due to cease conventional ammonia production in the near future due to the spiraling costs of gas feedstock. FFI and Incitec Pivot also indicate that they are working with Queensland Urban Utilities on sustainable water supply for electrolysis, and are currently canvassing potential domestic & international buyers for the ammonia product.

This collaboration aims to put Queensland and Australia ahead of the pack – not only in terms of the scale of production and supply of green hydrogen and green ammonia, but also in terms of demonstrating to the world that projects like this are feasible and that Australia has the foresight, the commitment, and the know-how to invest in and deliver them.

FFI CEO Mark Hutchison, in Incetic Pivot’s official press release, 7 Oct 2022

More renewable project updates from Peru & Chile

In Peru, ENGIE and Enaex have agreed to a new power purchase agreement, allowing Enaex’s existing ammonium nitrate plant to run on 100% renewable energy (Spanish language). ENGIE will supply certified renewable electricity to fully power operations at Enaex’s Cachimayo plant, which has the distinction of being the last remaining industrial ammonia production site still operating on electrolytic hydrogen feedstock.

In Chile, Petrofac will support the development of a new, million-tonne-per-year renewable ammonia project in the Magallanes region. Transitional Energy Group (TEG) launched the Gente Grande project in 2021, and are currently gathering observational data to inform the design of a max. 3 GW onshore wind farm. The first phase is planned to begin operations in 2026.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments