We ask 10 ASX hydrogen companies – what is your number one goal for 2023?
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In 2022, hydrogen upheld its momentum as an important piece of the global net zero emission by 2050 puzzle.
More countries released national strategies, the first fleet of hydrogen trains started operating in Germany, and new applications – particularly in the steel sector – continued to show signs of progress.
On the supply side, electrolyser manufacturing capacity reached almost 8GW per year. That’s double the amount in 2021, and experts believe with the current number of projects in the pipeline, the world could reach an installed capacity of anywhere between 134–240GW by 2030.
But while widespread adoption of hydrogen is likely to become a feasible option for replacing gas, there are several hurdles that need to be addressed, and the production of hydrogen at a price point competitive with or better than fossil fuels is just the start.
The gas and its high flammability, high diffusivity, and low density as well as its potential to weaken metal or polyethylene pipes all require answers, and limited hydrogen infrastructure creates an even greater challenge.
Globally, there is only around 4,500km of hydrogen pipelines. A significant investment in transport infrastructure is needed to first produce renewable hydrogen in remote locations including conversion and liquefaction units, and storage.
Tim Buckley, director at independent think tank Clean Energy Finance, says perhaps one of the biggest challenges is the fact there is still no price on carbon.
“Without this, there is no green premium,” he says.
“We need an overt market signal because you cannot compete with fossil fuels this decade if there is no regulation enforcing a high price on carbon.
“If companies can pollute for free using fossil fuels, they will.”
ASX companies are making big waves in the hydrogen space.
Stockhead rang a whole bunch of hydrogen companies and asked – what is your number one goal for 2023?
10 got back to us by deadline. This is what they said.
Market cap: $63.92m
“In 2023, Pure Hydrogen is focused on its leadership role in the establishment of Australia’s ‘Hydrogen Ecosystem’ by developing vehicle applications that demonstrate hydrogen’s use-case as a clean fuel alternative to diesel,” managing director Scott Brown says.
“Key initiatives include the development and trial of a hydrogen-powered Prime Mover truck for global food conglomerate Pepsi, and the co-development of a hydrogen garbage truck for leading Australian waste management company JJ’s Waste & Recycling.
“Both vehicle prototypes are expected to be delivered in Q2 of CY2023.”
Market cap: $76.30m
“Gold Hydrogen is very much focused on starting planned exploration activities for 2023,” managing director Neil McDonald says.
“This includes working closely with world leading experts Schlumberger, CSIRO, Xcalibur and Total Seismic in undertaking soil surveys, airborne gravity magnetic surveys and drilling for natural hydrogen based on historical occurrences.
“These technical activities, with the support of our stakeholders, could establish the world’s largest naturally occurring hydrogen province now exclusively leased to Gold Hydrogen.”
Market Cap: $103.97m
“Hazer’s goal for 2023 is to further capitalise on global commercial opportunities for both its hydrogen and graphitic carbon production technology with a special focus on its regions of interest – North America and APAC,” CEO Glenn Corrie says.
“We are focused on scaling our partnerships with energy and industrial players to propel the widespread commercialisation of The Hazer Process.
“The company is developing a disruptive hydrogen technology that is well positioned to play a key role in decarbonising hard to abate industrial sectors and remains on track to begin production at its commercial demonstration plant in late 2023.”
Market cap: $140.38m
“Frontier’s Bristol Springs Project is on track to become one of the first commercial scale green hydrogen operations in Australia,” CEO Sam Mohan says.
“Our project is very mature compared to others in the industry, with all engineering complete, permits and approvals in place.
“By far our biggest advantage is that all major associated infrastructures is already in place, allowing for significant cost saving and time to production compared to more remote projects.
“This means we can produce green hydrogen at a highly competitive price of just A$2.83/kg.
“Whilst Stage One is targeting production of 4.4 million kilograms of green hydrogen per annum, we plan to grow this in the future as the market continues to mature.
“The company’s main objective this year is to first deliver a Definitive Feasibility Study in the first quarter of 2023 and deliver binding offtake thereafter.”
Market cap: $27.75m
“Reaching final investment decision in 2023 with two renewable hydrogen projects RNE’s Countrywide Hydrogen has in Tasmania will herald a new era in green energy production and emissions reduction,” CEO Greg Watson says.
“This is the focus for ReNu in 2023.
“The projects near Launceston and Hobart will present firsts for Australia in terms of scale and offtakes with the opportunity to inject greater volumes of hydrogen into the natural gas networks as well as supplying customers whose goal is to operate their manufacturing on 100% green hydrogen.
“At the same time, the state’s logistics companies and their customers will have a zero-emission distribution option to achieve their stated emissions reduction targets.”
Market cap: $36.18m
“Provaris is developing a portfolio of integrated green hydrogen projects, leveraging our innovative compressed hydrogen GH2 Carrier,” CEO Martin Carolan says.
“Compression is a proven technology that can deliver a low-capex, simple and energy efficient regional supply chain for green hydrogen.
“Development projects are now advancing in Asia with the Tiwi H2 export project located in the Tiwi Islands, Northern Territory, and in Europe through collaboration MOUS with hydrogen value chain developers such as Total Eren, and more recently Norwegian Hydrogen in January 2023.
“With two collaboration MOUs signed for supply into the European market, and others in the pipeline, Provaris is focussed on converting one or more of these MOUs into a binding agreement.
“This will demonstrate to investors the acceptance of compression as the first-mover for the storage and transport of hydrogen and it offers a clear pathway to commercialisation of its proprietary GH2 Carrier which achieved Design Approval from the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) in late December 2022.”
From there the focus will move to a shipyard selection process in 2023, with Provaris on track to execute shipbuilding contracts for the H2Neo within 2023, and begin large-scale hydrogen shipping in 2026.
Market cap: $20.59m
“Our goal is to deliver our net zero Viridian Hydrogen demonstration project this year,” CEO Glenn Fozard says.
“The delivery of this project is a precursor to our proposed large-scale commercial project, which entails the scale-up of our Viridian Hydrogen process at the Yallourn mine – set to retire by mid-2028.
“Our Viridian Hydrogen process is designed to produce net zero hydrogen without needing CCUS (Carbon capture, utilisation and storage) but for around the same cost.
“We can support early hydrogen market activation as we can deploy our tech earlier at scale than the likes of the HESC project, which will need CCUS infrastructure established at scale to achieve a net zero footprint.”
Market cap: $10m
“HyTerra is the first ASX listed company focussed on the exploration and production of natural hydrogen,” chief operating officer Luke Velterop says.
“The company has an earn-in interest in a joint development with Natural Hydrogen Energy LLC which includes the world’s first wildcat well targeting natural hydrogen in Nebraska, USA.
“The well has been drilled and the joint venture is now preparing for an extended flow test to begin in February.
“This flow test has the potential to demonstrate it is a commercially competitive source of natural hydrogen that can accelerate decarbonisation.”
Market cap: $14.84m
“The Mid West Clean Energy project is a clean ammonia export project aiming to produce up to 1.2mmtpa of carbon free clean ammonia starting in 2027 with a cost base that is competitive with existing conventional grey ammonia production,” PGY chairman Brad Lingo says.
“Pilot and our CCS JV partner Triangle Energy, plan to initially commercialise the project by providing carbon management services to third parties followed by sales of ammonia (therefore the long-term use of the facility to support hydrogen production).”
Infinite Green Energy’s goal for 2023 is to reach financial closure on the recently acquired Northam (MEG HP1) Solar Farm and the Arrowsmith project, both located in Western Australia.
If all goes to plan, Northam is anticipated to reach final investment decision (FID) mid-2023, and Arrowsmith to follow in Q4 of 2023.
The company kicked off a $3m capital raise on Thursday to fund production capacity of the Northam project (MEG HP1) and the pathway towards planned production of the 23 tonne per day Arrowsmith project.
At Stockhead we tell it like it is. While Gold Hydrogen, Frontier Energy, and Hyterra are Stockhead advertisers, they did not sponsor this article.