Two Australian companies, Woodside Energy and Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) have entered final stage negotiations to become lead developer of the world’s largest green hydrogen production facility in Southland.
It is proposed the two companies will provide more detailed proposals to the joint Contact and Meridian Energy project team by the end of August, with the final selection of lead developer for the Southern Green Hydrogen project to be announced soon after.
The proposals received from both final counterparties during the initial selection process made it clear that large-scale production and export of green hydrogen or green ammonia in Southland is technically feasible and commercially sound, according to Meridian Energy CEO Neal Barclay.
“This is a complex project in a relatively new global market, and both the final counterparties have given us confidence that an economic project is achievable. Both have demonstrated that global markets for green hydrogen and green ammonia are imminent, and both are engaged in discussions with customers about buying the large volumes that the Southland plant will produce,” Barclay says.
Both Woodside Energy and FFI demonstrated the technical capability needed to develop the project in time to capture early mover advantage in emerging global markets, according to Contact Energy CEO Mike Fuge.
“The final two counterparties have the capability, experience and motivation to make this project happen at pace. Importantly they have both mapped realistic pathways for taking this project to commercial operation,” Fuge says.
The final two counterparties were selected from four companies that were invited to submit responses to the Southern Green Hydrogen request for proposal in May. The next stage of the process will see Murihiku Regeneration, representing both Murihiku Rūnaka and Ngāi Tahu interests, working closely with Southern Green Hydrogen and the remaining potential developers to ensure the best possible outcome is achieved.
“We see green hydrogen as pivotal for the future of Southland-Murihiku and for Ngāi Tahu . We will be looking for a partnership that works to benefit our future generations, the community we are a part of, and the wider national interest,” says Terry Nicholas, the Hokonui Representative and Ngai Tahu lead for this green energy programme.
For more information about Southern Green Hydrogen, visit www.southerngreenhydrogen.co.nz
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