Apa Group, an Australian company that owns and operates natural gas and electricity assets, starting a hydrogen pilot project which would convert 43 km of Parmelia Gas Pipeline in Western Australia into Australia’s first 100% hydrogen-ready transmission pipeline.
This would be the company first project under its initiative “Pathfinder Program”, aiming to unlock energy solutions of the future. Once completed, Parmelia Gas Pipeline would be among the very few gas 100% hydrogen ready transmission pipelines in the world.
Rob Wheals, Apa Group Chief Executive and MD said: “With billions of dollars invested in gas infrastructure across the country, it makes sense to look at ways to use our existing energy infrastructure to support Australia’s transition to a low carbon future.”
Future Fuels Cooperative Research Centre and Wollongong University have partnered with Apa to support the project. The AU$ 3 million (US$ 2.4 million) project will fund research and testing of the material for embrittlement in the laboratory, develop safe operating guidelines, and full-scale testing on-site.
A first of its kind laboratory in Australia at Wollongong University would test materials under pressurised hydrogen gas conditions. These pipelines are recommended to be tested for their response to hydrogen embrittlement. The company is expecting the testing and research to be completed by the end of 2022.
Hannah McCaughey, APA Group Executive for Transformation and Technology, said: “Kwinana is potentially a key hydrogen production and usage location, linked to a large industrial base and transport hubs, with the potential to one-day service export markets,” she said.
Once the pipeline is hydrogen-ready, Apa will then move to the next stage of working with potential producers and customers to understand the infrastructure and other requirements to commission the pipeline as a hydrogen service.