West Australian government looks to accelerate large-scale projects

Trilateral export study with Port of Rotterdam, German Federal Ministry of Education and Research

In a bid to accelerate development of the Oakajee Mid West hub, the trio will support a study assessing the best options for commercial technologies and port planning at Oakajee. Exports to both Germany and Rotterdam will be considered. Germany-based Fraunhofer ISE and the Mid-West Port Authority will lead the analysis.

The Joint Export Supply Chain Study aims to:

• Undertake foundation studies necessary for Oakajee to become a future worldclass Industrial Hydrogen Port Complex, delivering hydrogen and derivatives for local use and export.

• Investigate the total Hydrogen production potential of the Midwest region to support Oakajee as the most suitable location to develop the world’s largest hydrogen integrated port complex. 

• Investigate the techno-economic feasibility of innovative technology solutions that may accelerate exports from the Mid-West region to 2027.

Study aims, from the Port of Rotterdam’s official press release, 20 Dec 2022

The Oakajee SIA is a prime example of how Western Australia – with our abundance of renewable energy resources and suitable land areas – is well placed to meet this demand. This trilateral study is an important step in establishing a renewable hydrogen supply chain from Western Australia to Germany and the Netherlands.

WA Hydrogen Industry Minister Alannah MacTiernan in the Government of Western Australia’s official press release, 7 Dec 2022

New land-use policy

Click to download the new policy.
Click to download the new policy.

Given the sheer volume of hydrogen production projects being announced in Western Australia, the state government has set out new guidelines for “managing situations where there are competing projects proposed for the same area of (Crown) land”. Renewable hydrogen, mining exploration, pastoral and tourism projects are all in focus, with the WA government prioritising co-existence of different assets. Where co-existence cannot be agreed on in the development phase, a highest and best use assessment will be undertaken. Indigenous land rights will also be front-of-mind throughout the entire process.

New entities to fast-track approvals

Three new bodies – the cross-government Green Energy Assessment Unit, the government-industry Green Energy Expert Panel and the Green Energy Major Projects Group – will help new renewable hydrogen production projects move through the approvals process. The new entities will balance timeliness & environmental protection in their decision-making, as the WA state government seeks to unlock a significant pipeline of planned projects.

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