Green Energy: Province looks to GEV’s compressed hydrogen ships for green hydrogen export
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And the latest word is that production is currently gathering momentum, even ahead of demand (and as the industry assesses its future transport options).
One transport solution gathering steam is compressed hydrogen shipping, which may need to be developed to fulfil Australia’s ambitions of becoming a hydrogen export powerhouse over the coming decade.
Given its abundance of renewable energy and location relative to technologically advanced by resource poor nations like Japan and South Korea, Australia looms as a key cog in the Asia-Pacific hydrogen trade.
One of the early mover hydrogen projects is now partnering with an early mover in shipping technology, with Province Resources (ASX:PRL) and Total Eren engaging Global Energy Ventures (ASX:GEV) for a feasibility study on shipping hydrogen from their proposed HyEnergy project on the West Australian coast.
“The HyEnergy Project is an ideal green hydrogen export project for our compressed hydrogen shipping solution given its strategic location on the WA Gascoyne coastline, within a regional distance to multiple Asian markets with a future requirement for imported hydrogen,” GEV managing director Martin Carolan said.
GEV has in-principle approval for its 2000t C-H2 ship design from the American Bureau of Shipping and is progressing approvals and studies on a 430t pilot design, a fleet of which it hopes to have out on the water by the middle of the decade as the hydrogen export market develops.
According to a scoping study released by GEV in March, its fleet would be cost-competitive up to a distance of 8300km, opening a supply chain from Australia’s west coast to far east Asia.
BHP is facing more shareholder pressure at its upcoming annual general meeting to clamp down on its membership of organisations who campaign against action on climate change.
A new notice shows activist investors holding just 0.1% of BHP (and 0.006% of the combined dual-listed BHP Group) have called for the company to suspend its membership of organisations whose record of advocacy is “inconsistent with the Paris Agreement’s goals”.
The Paris Agreement calls on the world’s economies to limit global warming to much less than 2% above pre-industrial levels by 2050.
As shareholder activism has risen, BHP has become more sensitive to public commentary from industry associations like the Minerals Council of Australia.
It notably suspended membership of the Queensland Resources Council in 2020 on the back of an ad campaign that attacked the Greens in the lead up to the Sunshine State’s last election.
That came after a review of the New South Wales Minerals Council in 2019, which found that state’s mining lobby did pass the bar when it came to alignment with BHP’s climate goals.
BHP currently aims to reduce operational greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030, and hit net zero by 2050 based on the emissions it can control at its own operations.
However, BHP and other major mining houses are also under the cosh from shareholders over ‘scope 3’ emissions generated by their customers in industrial powerhouse China.
While 0.1% seems like an infinitesimal proportion of the base it is worth noting that pebbles can make big ripples when it comes to climate activism.
In May little known hedge fund Engine No. 1 convinced major investors to back two of its board nominees at US oil giant Exxon Mobil with just 0.02% of the voting power amid a wave of major climate losses at oil majors.
BHP will report its annual results on August 17, when it is expected to announce a net profit after tax in the order of around US$16 billion on the back of record commodity prices and announce a huge dividend.
While its iron ore business has gone from strength to strength on the back of abnormal demand from China, BHP is attempting to green up its business by divesting its coal and oil assets and ramping up its focus on battery metals like nickel and copper.