An explosives company is starting preliminary work on what is promised to be the world’s largest development powered by environmentally friendly gas in Central Queensland.
Dyno Nobel, which is owned by Incitec Pivot, recently started feasibility work on its $500 million Renewable Ammonia Facility at its existing Dyno Ammonia Plant, 200km southwest of Mackay.
Renewable gas powered
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is investing $980,000 in the early work, which will conduct and assess ways to power the plant’s 160 megawatt (MW) electrolyser using renewable hydrogen gas and a 210 MW solar farm.
The $2.7M study will examine the feasibility of switching the source of feedstock to make ammonia from natural gas to hydrogen. This includes the potential to use renewable hydrogen produced via electrolysis to increase ammonia production at the facility to meet rising demand for ammonium nitrate.
“The aim of the feasibility study is to determine whether renewable hydrogen can be produced in a way that makes commercial sense to support expanding our Moranbah manufacturing facility in Central Queensland,” Incitec president global manufacturing Tim Wall said in a public statement. “We are pleased to be working with ARENA to determine whether we can lower the cost of producing renewable hydrogen at industrial scale, which would support local industry and jobs, and reduce our carbon footprint.”
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620 jobs promised
If the project proceeds the existing 50 staff at the Dyno Moranbah Facility will expand by 550 during construction and 70 during operation.
ARENA has identified ammonia sector as a key user of hydrogen with significant opportunity to deploy renewable hydrogen technologies.
“As ammonia already uses hydrogen, ammonia production at large scale is an ideal opportunity for us to begin exploring the pathway to lowering emissions through the use of renewable hydrogen as it already uses hydrogen in an industrial application, and has existing supply chains and end users,” ARENA CEO Darren Miller said in a public statement. “Given ammonia production is an energy-intensive industry that accounts for 1 per cent of global emissions, this project could also help the ammonia industry to reduce its emissions by switching to renewable hydrogen.”