Aqua Aerem (a technology company) has announced that its Desert Bloom Hydrogen project has been granted major project status by the Northern Territory government.
The US$ 10.75 billion 10 GW project will start development work in 2022, with commercial production of green hydrogen beginning in 2023. It will produce around 410k tonnes/year of green hydrogen for domestic and export use when at full scale by 2027. It will produce green hydrogen at less than US$ 2/kg.
The project will use atmospheric water capture technology, powered by off-grid solar, to produce commercial quantities of renewable hydrogen. The air-to-water technology will open the door for green hydrogen projects to be located where the best renewable power sources are available, generally in the world’s driest areas.
Initially based at Tennant Creek, close to existing gas and pipeline infrastructure that can be repurposed for hydrogen. The location is also at the ‘energy corridor’ of rail, road and gas pipeline infrastructure linking directly to Darwin Port.
The project will consist of a series of modular and portable 2 MW Hydrogen Production Units (HPUs) that each generates water, heat, electricity, and hydrogen. Desert Bloom Hydrogen will comprise about 4000 HPUs at its peak.
The project will provide an economic boost to the territory, creating about 1000 construction jobs. Aqua Aerem and Sanguine Impact Investment have applied rigorous environmental and social frameworks to the project, which was successfully piloted in early 2021.
Aqua Aerem is backed by Sanguine Impact Investment, which provides the project’s capital and has executed an agreement with one of Japan’s largest gas buyers and distributors to invest in the project. An agreement with Territory Generation (the NT’s power utility) has been signed to offtake hydrogen from the initial stages of the project.
Gerard Reiter, CEO of Aqua-Aerem, said, “The project was transformative in the way it had managed to overcome water supply and solar/electrolysis integration problems that have so far held back global renewable hydrogen production.”
Michael Gunner, NT Chief Minister, said, “The development of projects such as Desert Bloom Hydrogen would see the Territory play a lead role in the emerging renewable hydrogen market.”