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Australia: Whitebark Energy instigates near term Hydrogen Commercialisation Pathway study

20 May 2024

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  • Whitebark has commenced a Hydrogen Commercialisation Pathway study following a review of renewable energy development opportunities
  • Near term focus on development and deployment of Hydrogen production facilities at the Company’s 100% owned EPG2049
  • Project development is in alignment with recently announced ~A$6.7 Billion Federal Government Hydrogen production incentives
  • EPG2049 Hydrogen production is targeting to serve nearby Hydrogen Highway infrastructure and associated offtakers
  • Successful commissioning of EPG2049 will support assessment of additional hydrogen production at EPG2037, Warro and other Whitebark assets, as available
  • The Company is committed to the ongoing evaluation of additional Natural Hydrogen asset opportunities with similar commercial characteristics

Whitebark Energy has commenced targeted commercialisation studies for the Company’s current portfolio in Australia. Hydrogen, produced through electrolysis powered by renewable sources, stands out as a versatile and sustainable fuel with the potential to revolutionise various sectors, including transportation, industry, and energy storage. Inland Australia, endowed with abundant geothermal energy resources and existing oil and gas wells which are end of commercial life, presents a unique opportunity to establish a hydrogen highway fuelled by hydrogen derived from geothermal power.

Whitebark’s strategy for developing hydrogen from a geothermal energy source and supporting the ‘Hydrogen Highway’ through inland Australia is in line with recent Federal Government Budget announcements (including A$6.7 Billion in Hydrogen Production incentives) promoting hydrogen production through extensive funding support. By leveraging Whitebark’s existing assets with significant geothermal potential, Management firmly believes the Company is in a unique position to capitalise on growing market demand with a renewed focus on the development of hydrogen assets to commercialisation stage.

The Company is pleased to announce a Hydrogen Commercialisation Pathway study with an initial focus on developing Whitebark’s 100% owned EPG2049 asset to production. Whitebark’s commercialisation study and development pathway incorporates the following key components:

1. EPG2049 Geothermal Resource Assessment and Development:

  • Conduct further comprehensive geological surveys and exploration activities to verify EPG2049 geothermal potential;
  • Leverage EPG2049’s existing production fields and well infrastructure and introduce technologies and reservoir characterization techniques to optimize resource development and maximize energy extraction; Whitebark Energy instigates near term Hydrogen Commercialisation Pathway study
  • Collaborate with government agencies (incl. ARENA), research institutions, and industry partners to accelerate geothermal exploration and development efforts, and;
  • Target additional opportunities across inland Australian projects that support near term capital efficient geothermal deployment.

2. Prioritised Assessment of EPG2049’s Hydrogen Production and Infrastructure Capability:

  • Assess optimal Hydrogen facility deployment using identified key transportation routes and associated hydrogen refuelling stations along the proposed Hydrogen Highway;
  • Establish state-of-the-art electrolysis facilities powered by geothermal energy to produce hydrogen from waste production water;
  • Collaborate with government agencies, utilities, regulatory bodies and offtake counterparties (incl. vehicle manufacturers, fleet operators and logistic companies) to streamline production, and;
  • Develop a robust infrastructure network, including hydrogen production plants, storage facilities, and transportation corridors, to facilitate the distribution of hydrogen across inland Australia.

3. Continuous Assessment of Whitebark Portfolio potential for additional Hydrogen production:

  • Ongoing monitoring and assessment of EPG2049’s success to inform additional Hydrogen production capability at Whitebark’s other assets;
  • Ongoing evaluation of additional acquisitions in alignment with asset selection principles, and;
  • Maintain commercial dialogue with partners and government entities for further joint venture and funding support opportunities.

Whitebark General Manager, Adam Stepanoff said: 'I am excited to announce a significant milestone in the Company’s history, with commencement of a formal commercial assessment of Hydrogen deployment utilising the Company’s uniquely positioned asset base. Hydrogen energy development in Australia represents a dynamic frontier in the nation’s pursuit of sustainable energy solutions and Whitebark’s EPG2049 asset location and production characteristics are perfectly placed to position Whitebark as a leader in Geothermal and Hydrogen production.

As advancements in government support, technology and exploration continue to progress, Australia’s Hydrogen landscape offers an attractive pathway to reducing emissions while diversify the energy mix, bolster energy security and deliver shareholder value.'

Click here for full announcement

Source: Whitebark Energy

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