The Ord Hydrogen Project

Project Overview

In 2020, Pacific Hydro undertook a study to consider the technical feasibility of constructing a renewable hydrogen plant near Kununurra.

The study, which considered things like current and future technologies, supply chains, potential markets, water sources and approval requirements, found it was technically feasible to produce hydrogenor ammonia for local consumption, as well as for export.

Pacific Hydro will now consider whether it is commercially feasible to proceed with the project and has begun exploring partnerships with transportation companies and potential purchasers both locally and internationally.

A decision to proceed to the next phase of development is expected in 2022.

If it proceeds, the hydrogen plant would be powered by unused capacity from The Ord River Hydro Power Plant after the Argyle Diamond Mine closes.

It would have the potential to supply hydrogen or ammonia locally, as well as for export.

What is hydrogen?
Hydrogen is a flexible, safe, transportable, and storable fuel. It can be used to power vehicles and create heat and electricity. 

What is it used for?

Hydrogen also has a number of uses including:

  • As chemical feedstock, including to make ammonia for fertiliser.
  • To create heat and electricity in homes for cooking and heating, or to be stored and used to produce electricity as a backup when there is not enough electricity available from other sources.
  • To power vehicles. The advantages of hydrogen-powered vehicles compared to battery electric vehicles are faster refuelling times and the ability to travel longer distances, carrying larger loads before refuelling. Refuelling hydrogen vehicles demands a network of refuelling stations, like what exists now for petrol and diesel.
  • To power remote places like mines and small regional communities in conjunction with renewable energy sources.
  • To be exported, either for energy or for use as a chemical feedstock.