Japan’s Osaka Gas Enters 10GW Desert Bloom Hydrogen Project in Australia

Highlights :

  • Osaka Gas will manage the construction of the plant, provide engineering support, negotiate with equipment manufacturers and find end customers for the produced hydrogen.
  • The total investment into the Desert Bloom Hydrogen project will be $10.75 billion.

Japan based Osaka Gas has entered into an agreement with technology provider Aqua Aerem to develop the 10-gigawatt (GW) Desert Bloom Hydrogen project in Northern Australia that attracts an investment of $10.75 billion. Aqua Aerem is the proponent of the Green Hydrogen project. The entry from Osaka gas is considered a surprising yet bold move for the Japanese firm, in what is the largest such commitment to Australia from a Japanese firm.

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Osaka Gas’ entrance to the US$10.75 billion scheme will contribute to the overall development of the project that will comprise construction of plant, engineering and technical support, negotiate with equipment manufacturers and find customers for the produced hydrogen.

The Desert Bloom project will start with just stage 1 with a cost of $743 million producing 1000 kg of green hydrogen every day. This will eventually be expanded to 410,000 tonnes of annual production for domestic consumption and also exports.

David Green, chairman of Aqua Aerem and Managing Director of Sanguine, said “Desert Bloom will be on track to produce green hydrogen at an export price international customers want to pay – less than US$2/kg within five years.” Singapore based Sanguine Impact Investment is the major owner of Aqua Aerem.

Gerard Reiter, CEO of Aqua Aerem, informed, “This deal is a strong endorsement of the massive value of the project and Aqua Aerem’s innovative air-to-water technology, which is opening the door for green hydrogen projects to be located where the best renewable power sources are available, which is generally in the driest areas of the planet.”

Aqua Aerem is the innovator of air-to-water technology. The main tenet of Desert Bloom is that it will not require direct access to a water source. The technology is built with a series of modular, 2MW hydrogen production units that can capture water from the atmosphere and split it to produce green hydrogen. This means that green hydrogen production units can be installed even in arid regions. Aqua Aerem says this significantly reduces the capital and operating costs associated with green hydrogen production.

Osaka Gas spokesperson said that they will invest in the project in future but the company has no concrete investment plan as of now. “We also hope to gain new knowledge about hydrogen development through our participation in this project,” said the spokesperson.

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