Renewables Daily: GEV speeding its entry into hydrogen transport with development of 430t pilot vessel
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• GEV begins development of 430-tonne pilot C-H2 vessel with aims to speed introduction to hydrogen shipping market
• New Energy Solar sells out of Australia, creating a new solar energy business for Thai coal-miner Banpu Energy
Global Energy Ventures (ASX: GEV) has commenced development of a 430-tonne pilot ship to speed its movement into the hydrogen shipping market.
GEV already has in-principle approvals for its full-scale 2000-tonne design from the American Bureau of Shipping.
While green hydrogen is projected to become cost competitive with other forms of hydrogen production over the coming decade, the market remains relatively immature.
GEV says its handymax pilot-scale version will be best suited to the emerging market.
“GEV’s design and development strategy for the 2,000-tonne ship proved that large commercial scale C-H2 ships are possible and paved the way for the development of a pilot-scale version,” he said.
“The 430-tonne ship is an ideal size to meet the needs of the current emerging H2 marine transportation industry and will ensure we establish ourselves in the marine transportation of green hydrogen.”
GEV plans to have approval in principle for the pilot vessel in the third quarter this year, with full class approval to follow by the end of 2022.
That would pave the way for a fleet to be on the water towards the middle of the decade.
In particular, GEV managing director Martin Carolan says he sees early opportunities coming in supplying hydrogen for blending or grid injection, a process already under way where hydrogen is slowly incorporated into existing gas pipelines.
“Blending is an attractive source of near-term demand for hydrogen at low blend volumes due to low incremental costs and aligns with C-H2’s modular approach for production scale-up,” he said.
“The scale of a 430t ship can alleviate the additional infrastructure requirements that a liquefaction or ammonia project will require to deliver a pure hydrogen gas to the end user.
“Regions with aspirations to develop a low-carbon hydrogen economy are likely to
turn to grid injection as a means of cultivating a market and stimulating investment into supply.”
Final engineering and design will run alongside the approvals process over the next 18 months.
Thailand’s Banpu Energy has not had the smoothest run since moving into Australia’s thermal coal industry in 2010, where it owns nine mines acquired in its takeover of Centennial Coal.
But as with a number of fossil fuel companies around the world facing pressure to go green its focuses are increasingly turning to renewables, with more than 1000MW of committed renewables projects on Banpu’s books.
The 110.9MW Beryl plant has only been operating since June 2019, while the 55.9MW Manildra farm near Orange has been up and running since April 2018.
Beryl sells electricity to the Sydney Metro for the Northwest rail link under a 134,000MWh a year 15 year agreement, while Manildra is a supplier to east coast power giant EnergyAustralia.
The sale came on the back of a strategic review by RBC Capital Markets that recommended the divestment of New Energy’s Australian assets, which will be used to reduce group debt and fund a share buyback.