On behalf of the Australian Government, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has approved up to $9.41 million in funding to Hazer Group Limited for the construction and operation of a groundbreaking hydrogen production facility in Munster, Western Australia. Hazer is seeking to build a $15.8 million 100-ton per annum facility to demonstrate their proprietary hydrogen production technology which converts biogas from sewage treatment into hydrogen and graphite. Hazer aims to complete construction of the facility by December 2020 and begin operations in January 2021.
The Hazer Process is an innovative technology that converts biomethane to renewable hydrogen and graphite using an iron ore catalyst, creating an alternate hydrogen pathway to the traditional approaches of steam methane reforming and electrolysis. Hazer has identified the proposed location for the project at the Woodman Point Wastewater Treatment Plant, owned by WA Water Corporation, located in Munster. Hazer has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with WA Water Corporation for the supply of biogas and to provide the project site for construction.
“There is very significant interest in the potential for hydrogen to play an important role in the Australian economy through providing energy storage, services in grid support and resilience, in direct use as a transport fuel, and as a source of low emission heat and power. The completion of the Hazer Commercial Demonstration Plant is a key step to demonstrate the robustness and value of our technology and position Hazer to capture opportunities in this important growth market,” said Hazer Managing Director, Geoff Ward.
ARENA CEO Darren Miller said Hazer’s project represents a new and innovative way to produce renewable hydrogen, which aligns with ARENA’s new investment priority focused on accelerating hydrogen. ARENA has thrown its weight behind Australia’s increasing focus on hydrogen as an alternative fuel source. It recently announced $950,000 in funding for gas company BOC for a renewable hydrogen production and refueling project in Queensland, and has also supported Toyota’s hydrogen center at their former car manufacturing plant in Altona.