Australian Vanadium taps into economic and environmental benefits of the growing green hydrogen market
Special Report: Vanadium project developer AVL (ASX:AVL) has launched a green hydrogen strategy for its flagship Australian Vanadium project in WA.
Hydrogen can be made from natural gas or coal, which is cheap but dirty, or from water using 100 per cent renewable energy, which is ‘green’.
The nascent ‘green hydrogen’ sector is growing fast, with the announced project pipeline growing from 3.5 gigawatts (GW) to just over 15GW within the last 10 months.
The outlook is increasingly positive. Hydrogen could be a big winner from China’s $7 trillion plan to be carbon neutral by 2060. Japan announced plans to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, opening the door to carbon-free fuels like hydrogen.
And close to home, South Australia aims to develop a world-leading hydrogen export industry, starting with a $240m project at Port Bonython.
AVL managing director Vincent Algar says using green hydrogen could reduce the Australian Vanadium Project’s carbon footprint and “leverage both the economic and environmental benefits of this growing market”.
To support the Government of Western Australia’s plans for a green hydrogen economy, AVL has submitted a formal response to the request for expressions of interest for the Oakajee Strategic Industrial Area Renewable Energy Strategy.
“Having a project located in the Mid-West region, with a variety of ways for AVL to incorporate green hydrogen, means that the company is well-positioned to leverage the emerging hydrogen economy and its financial and environmental benefits,” the company says.
Through AVL’s subsidiary, VSUN Energy, the company could integrate hydrogen electrolysers in plant design, combined with energy storage using vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) technology.
A percentage of green hydrogen could be introduced into the natural gas feed for the processing plant to reduce carbon emissions. This will be analysed fully in AVL’s upcoming Bankable Feasibility Study.
A by-product of hydrogen production, ammonia, can be used in vanadium processing. Only yesterday Australian mining magnate Andrew Forrest spoke about Fortescue Metals Group’s (ASX: FMG) plans to supply green hydrogen and green ammonia.
Green hydrogen could even fuel mine site vehicles and trucks used for haulage.
AVL could be part of a growing industry aiming to use green hydrogen to produce ‘green steel’ in the ore reduction step, Algar says. Companies such as Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance are interested in this market in Australia. AVL is seeking partnerships with companies interested in this area as it would be an efficient use for the iron-titanium coproduct that the company plans to produce.
“The green steel opportunity is one that WA should particularly embrace, with the potential for many jobs to be created and a globally competitive steel industry built,” he says.
“AVL’s green hydrogen strategy can assist with environmental approvals and in attracting finance partners with an environmental, social and corporate governance focus, for AVL to bring the Australian Vanadium Project into production.”
This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.