While Woodside is hardly the first port of call for green hydrogen developments, the gas major nonetheless appears to be pushing ahead with its proposed H2OK renewable energy development in Ardmore, Oklahoma.

The company has just awarded Norway’s Nel Hydrogen Electrolyser a contract for the provision of alkaline electrolyser equipment to support the first phase of the company’s first global hydrogen project.

This equipment, which will be produced in Herøya, the world’s only fully automated electrolyser facility, will be capable of producing 90t of hydrogen per day, more than enough to support the plant’s planned nameplate capacity of 64,000kg of hydrogen per day to power hydrogen fuel cell powered commercial and heavy transport vehicles.

Woodside’s proposed project site in Ardmore is in an area well suited for hydrogen production with good availability of water and renewable energy.

Front-end engineering and design for H2OK is targeted for completion this year with a final investment decision expected in 2023, though the order of the electrolysers and the company’s ambition to build a New Energy business in the US makes this a likely decision.

Nor is H2OK the only such project that Woodside has on its plate.

The company is also working on the proposed H2Perth and H2TAS projects in Western Australia and Tasmania respectively.

Hydrogen projects in Australia

H2Perth is a proposed facility in Perth’s southern industrial area that would be capable of producing an initial 300t per day of hydrogen, enough for conversion into either 600,000tpa of ammonia or 110,000tpa of liquid hydrogen.

This could be used for domestic transport uses or exported.

Unlike H2OK however, H2Perth will not rely entirely on renewable energy with the company noting that both electrolysis technologies and natural gas reforming would be used to produce hydrogen with all carbon emissions either abated or offset.

The project has drawn accusations of greenwashing due to the West Australian state government’s admission that Woodside could use Renewable Energy Certificates where required.

H2TAS on the other hand has greater similarity to H2OK, being also a renewable hydrogen project on an admittedly smaller scale.

It is currently proposed as a 10MW pilot project capable of producing 4.5t per day of the green gas for domestic use.

Could Woodside’s hydrogen moves provide a hint of the gas major’s future beyond natural gas?