Provaris submits green hydrogen referral for Tiwi Islands


Provaris Energy has submitted a Referral to the Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority (NT EPA) for the proposed 2.8 GW Tiwi H2 Project on the Tiwi Islands.

Provaris’ Managing Director and CEO, Martin Carolan, commented: “The Referral submission for the Tiwi H2 Project is a key milestone for Provaris, as the Company continues to demonstrate the benefits of compressed hydrogen as an export carrier to alternatives that require mega-scale and capital and energy intensive processes for conversion to transport and reconversion back to hydrogen. Tiwi H2 offers the NT and Australia a first mover advantage for the export of green hydrogen into Asia.”

The Referral has been produced to inform the NT EPA about Provaris’s proposal to construct green hydrogen production and export facilities on Melville Island, within the Tiwi Islands of the Northern Territory (NT). The hydrogen will be created by solar-powered electrolysis of cleaned sea water, with annual production anticipated to exceed 100,000 tons.

Provaris’ Executive Director and Chief Development Officer, Garry Triglavcanin continued: “The Referral has been developed to demonstrate the Tiwi H2 Project will develop a safe, sustainable and efficient supply chain for exporting green hydrogen in a way that minimizes environmental and social impacts. Provaris is committed to working closely with the Tiwi Island stakeholders to develop a project that delivers benefits to the local community during all project phases. With the Referral submission now lodged, Provaris expects the NT EPA decision on level of assessment to follow in October 2022.”

The Tiwi H2 Project has the potential to be Australia’s first export project of gaseous green hydrogen. Provaris is dedicated to ensuring the future of green hydrogen available through the accuracy and ease of compressed hydrogen.

Being primarily located on existing plantation land and within Port Melville, the Tiwi H2 Project seeks to minimize environmental impacts (in comparison to the selection of a greenfield site), development time and costs, and to provide proximity and access to the future demand markets in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Tiwi H2 Project includes:

  • Solar Precinct (2,640 hectares) located on the northern tip of Melville Island roughly 12 kilometers north of the closest town, Pirlangimpi, and 22 kilometers north of Port Melville. The Solar Precinct consists of three sections of Tiwi Plantations Corporation (TPC) plantation that require clearance.
  • Transmission Line Corridor (150 ha) for a high voltage 275 kV dual circuit 30 kilometer transmission line that will deliver power from the Solar Precinct to the H2 Production Precinct.
  • H2 Production Precinct (40 ha) located on remnant bushland just north of Port Melville (Port) and about 1.3 kilometers south-east of Pirlangimpi. In this neighborhood, seawater taken from Apsley Strait will be cleaned and then electrolyzed to produce hydrogen.
  • Hydrogen will be compressed and loaded aboard Provaris’ proprietary compressed hydrogen ships (H2Neo) at the 32-hectare H2 Export Precinct within Port Melville’s development boundaries. The hydrogen will be shipped to Asian and Pacific markets. Port Melville is located in the Apsley Strait, which spans between the Melville and Bathurst Islands from north to south. Pirlangimpi (Garden Point) is located roughly 1.5 kilometers north of Port Melville and 130 kilometers north of Darwin.

As depicted in Figure 2, the Tiwi H2 Project is an integral part of Provaris’s broader mission to build a safe, sustainable, and efficient supply chain for exporting green hydrogen. The objectives of the Tiwi H2 Project are:

  • Develop a new, sustainable, and financially robust industry that will be a transformative business opportunity for the Tiwi Islands, and integrate it with the Northern Territory’s hydrogen strategy to utilize its renewable energy to build a new export industry.
  • Contribute to the NT’s 2050 policy goal of “net-zero” greenhouse gas emission targets by establishing a commercially viable green hydrogen production and export facility.
  • Minimize environmental consequences by reusing underutilized brownfield sites for the creation of new industries with a predicted operation phase of 30 years or more.
  • Throughout all phases of the Project, work closely with Tiwi Island stakeholders to establish a Project that provides advantages to the local community.

The Tiwi H2 Project has the support of key stakeholders, including the Tiwi Land Council, the Munupi Clan, NT Port and Marine Pty Ltd, and the Northern Territory Government, to continue the development of the requisite environmental and engineering evaluations.

Provaris acknowledges that: “Twenty years ago, Tiwi leaders decided that they would use up to 10% of their land to create an economy, with real jobs for their children and grandchildren… Tiwi leaders determined to establish a number of commercial businesses and enterprises in order to create jobs and income for their people.”

The Tiwi H2 Project is likely to be constructed in phases so that hydrogen production and export volumes can increase over time in accordance with customer demand, benefit from ongoing capital cost reductions throughout the supply chain, and maintain an acceptable level of construction workforce in relation to the local communities.

Provaris will continue to develop and advance the comprehensive engineering design of the Tiwi H2 Project throughout 2022 and 2023, in accordance with the Munupi Traditional Landowners’ permissions and approvals. This work will be completed concurrently with Provaris’ ship engineering and class approval program by the middle of 2023.

Nedim Husomanovic

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