HIRINGA Energy and Sundown Pastoral Co have been awarded $35.8 million from the New South Wales Government to support a green hydrogen and ammonia facility designed to slash carbon emissions from fuel and fertiliser at Sundown’s Good Earth cotton farm near Moree.
According to the NSW Government’s NSW Climate and Energy Action website, the Good Earth Green Hydrogen and Ammonia (GEGHA) project will be an integrated solar energy-to-hydrogen and ammonia project.
“All manufacturing operations will be co-located at the Wathagar ginning facility site on the Keytah agricultural property, near Moree in northern NSW,” the website said.
The GEGHA project will see the installation of the 27-megawatt Wathagar Solar Farm, which will produce roughly 45,000 MW hours of energy per annum, enough to power more than 4000 homes, and enough hydrogen to displace more than 1.4 million litres of diesel.
The project will demonstrate commercial viability of low-carbon fertiliser production based on Sundown’s Good Earth Cotton farm west of Moree, to be followed by medium-scale expansion across the state’s agricultural sector.
“We’re thrilled to be working with Hiringa to fuel the next generation of agriculture systems in Australia,” Sundown Pastoral Company owner David Statham said.
“GEGHA’s production of anhydrous ammonia comes at an important time for the Australian agricultural sector, as global consumers start to demand sustainable food and fibre.”
Mr Statham said the project will exemplify how Australia can decouple agriculture from fossil fuel-driven fertiliser production.
“We’ll also provide a credible pathway for heavy trucking to transition to low-emission transport using hydrogen and deliver on-farm emissions reduction for the agricultural sector with alternatives to fossil fuels such as LPG and diesel.”
Hiringa Energy head of commercial and corporate development Cathy Clennett said the company aimed to provide a more resilient, locally produced and lower emissions supply of fertiliser and fuel.
“The project will prove the technical and commercial model for decarbonised agricultural systems and sets a precedent for the new frontier of farming and heavy transport industries, where net-zero and commercial viability are inextricably linked,” Ms Clennett said.
Hiringa executive director Australia David Heard said Hiringa planned to grow its footprint in Australia, and that GEGHA will provide Sundown and other regional customers with green ammonia to reduce their emissions related to fertiliser use, and hydrogen as a replacement to diesel and LPG.
With its dedicated focus on the agricultural fertiliser market, the GEGHA project is expected to improve the reliability of fertiliser supply to local agricultural production while also decarbonising it by manufacturing close to the point of use, and eliminating the use of methane feedstock.
The GEGHA project is estimated to directly abate more than 17,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per annum.