Traditional landowners have granted compressed hydrogen shipmaker turn exporter Global Energy Ventures (GEV) permission to conduct onsite environmental and engineering studies, including solar monitoring on increased acreage, following a meeting held on Melville Island.
The studies will support the company’s referral submission to the territory’s Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), which will allow the project to formally move forward with its pre-feasibility work.
The Tiwi Islands project is targeting an annual green hydrogen production of 100,000 tonnes, which will be exported to the Asia-Pacific, with a particular focus on Japan, South Korea, Singapore and China. The project will use the company’s own fleet of hydrogen-powered and compressed hydrogen-carrying ships currently being developed.
The company is targeting an investment decision on the Tiwi project by the end of next year, 2023, with the first production in 2026.
GEV’s proposed project is located on the traditional lands of the Munupi people
Among the permissions granted is an increase in the land available to include in its referral submission. GEV now has scope to include solar generation based on ~2,580 hectares, or 25.8 square kilometers (km2), up from 1,800 hectares – adding almost a third of additional space.
It will also assess an additional 40 hectares adjacent to the existing Port Melville facilities for hydrogen production and compression, with a total of 72 hectares now under consideration near the port.
Connecting the solar farm to the hydrogen production facilities will be a new transmission line that is expected to follow an existing road to minimize environmental impacts. The company is now assessing ~120 hectares (1.2km2) of land for this transmission line.
The approvals from the Munupi Landowners and Tiwi Plantation Corporation Board will also allow GEV’s consultants to be onsite for environmental surveys, with further engineering surveys and studies to follow later in the year as part of the project’s pre-feasibility.
It has also been granted permission to begin solar monitoring in the September quarter for a period of 12 months, based on agreed sites for clearing and installation. Further meetings and permissions will be required at various stages for the project as and when future activities on Munupi land are required, the company said.
To advance the design of the solar farm and transmission line, GEV has hired CE Partners, about whom there is little information online. GEV said the Melbourne firm will be covering construction, operation, and generation modeling of both the solar farm and transmission line.
Alongside the onsite environmental and engineering surveys and solar monitoring, GEV and its consultants will begin detailed engineering and support the target of financial close by the second half of 2023.
On the nearer-term horizon, the company will lodge its submission referral to the territory’s EPA in the June quarter and expects its decision to follow in the September quarter.
The company will also pursue potential offtake agreements in the meantime, and will be participating in the Austrade’s Team Australia Stand at the World Hydrogen Summit, Rotterdam, in May.
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