Samsung joins Coleman’s green hydrogen punt

Former Woodside chief Peter Coleman’s green hydrogen company has welcomed South Korean giant Samsung C&T as a substantial equity partner into the project that will be both companies’ first attempt at making the carbon-free fuel on Australian soil.

Mr Coleman’s Infinite Green Energy owns 100 per cent of the “MEG HP1” project, which will use solar power to electrolyse water into “green hydrogen” near the Western Australian wheat belt town of Northam.

But Infinite Green chief executive Stephen Gauld said the company was in the process of bringing multiple partners into the Northam project, which would reduce its ownership stake to closer to 40 per cent.

Samsung will be the first of those partners. It is set to acquire a stake of undisclosed size for an undisclosed sum.

The first phase of the Northam project is expected to cost $110 million to build and the partners plan to take a final investment decision (FID) before the end of 2023.

That FID adds to what will be a big year for hydrogen; Fortescue will take five FIDs before Christmas and also expects to complete its hydrogen electrolyser factory in Gladstone before the end of the year.

Infinite Green’s Northam project will be focused on domestic hydrogen consumers, so is planned to be relatively small in comparison to the export-focused green hydrogen projects being planned for Australia’s north-west.

Production volumes are expected to be about 1460 tonnes a year and are expected to be sold to the operators of heavy vehicle fleets, such as garbage trucks.

The Northam project is planned to be a learning experience that better equips Infinite Green to build larger hydrogen ventures like its flagship Arrowsmith project.

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Credit: Peter Ker