Renu Energy wins government support as it signs hydrogen MOU with Tasmanian airport

Thu 17 Nov 22, 12:12pm (AEST)
A liquefied natural gas pipeline sits in the foreground; in the background, the horizon swallows an amber sun which backlights a petrochemical refinery
Source: iStock

Key Points

  • ReNu Energy to draft design of a 5MW electrolyser for Launceston Airport incorporating solar panel generation for green hydrogen production
  • Small-scale early stage project to be constructed allowing scale-up down the road
  • Tasmania’s Minister for Energy, the Honourable Guy Barnett, attended launch event at Launceston Airport

Among the attendees this morning at a launch event for ReNu Energy’s (ASX:RNE) new partnership with Tasmania’s Launceston Airport was the state’s minister for energy and renewables Guy Barnett, underscoring ongoing governance interest in green hydrogen projects throughout Australia. 

ReNu Energy, intending to produce green hydrogen domestically in Australia by as early as 2024, has signed on with Launceston Airport to design the latter a 5MW electrolyser capable of producing hydrogen gas on-site, powered in part by solar. 

This renewables generation component, which will provide power to the electrolyser which makes the hydrogen, is what makes the project a green hydrogen play, as opposed to that produced from fossil fuel sources (either coal, or, the steam reformation of methane.)

Not only will that renewables generation component boost the partnership’s overall ESG credentials, but ReNu expects it to ultimately lower the cost-per-kg of hydrogen gas production; customers are also set to enjoy lower retail prices. 

ReNu notes today it is seeking to “make the emissions free-fuel as competitive and attractive as possible.” 

Why Launceston Airport? 

ReNu chief Geoffrey Drucker was clear in highlighting his company’s focus on ReNu as a potential provider of decarbonisation solutions. 

“We are incredibly excited by the number of complementary hub opportunities this collaboration could afford Northern Tasmania, including hydrogen refuelling for bus and truck operators looking to decarbonise their vehicle fleet,” Drucker said. 

“There is potential for Tas Gas to install a new gas reticulation system at Western Junction delivering a decarbonised natural gas network for TRANSlink, the local commercial and industrial zone.”

Western Junction is a semi-rural locality in northeast Tasmania through which intersects the Tasmanian Gas Pipeline, overseen by state utility Tas Gas. Western Junction is the last major gas pipeline hub before one hits Launceston Airport (assuming you are travelling north.) 

Western Junction can be though of, in short, as Tasmania’s version of the QLD-based Wallumbilla Hub. 

Ultimately, the airport is hoping it can sell green hydrogen into nearby industrial areas, as well as using it for its own purposes on the tarmac and elsewhere. 

Tas Gas already has existing agreements in place with ReNu; the utility signed on early to become a retailer for ReNu’s green hydrogen gas.  

Net zero back in fashion

Launceston Airport chief Shane O’Hare, meanwhile, talked net zero. 

“We are pleased to be working with Countrywide Hydrogen to assess the feasibility of the project. Such a project would support the company’s ambitious emissions reductions targets. We have set a target of net-zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2025,” O’Hare noted. 

Worth noting is that COP27 winds up this week; the 27th iteration of an annual UN-backed climate conference which pits governments and industry heavyweights together to showcase how they are tackling climate change. The conference also serves as something of a think tank for policy generation. 

Green Hydrogen has been a recurring theme at this year’s event, though, the overall thematic is not as definitive as it was for COP26. That was, of course, before a war in Europe brought coal back to the table. 

ReNu's three month charts show a recent revival of interest
ReNu's three month charts show a recent revival of interest
Disclaimer: Market Index helps small-cap ASX listed companies connect with Australian investors through clear and concise articles on key developments. ReNu was a client at the time of publishing. All coverage contains factual information only and should not be interpreted as an opinion or financial advice.


Written By

Jonathon Davidson

Finance Writer

Jonathon is a journalism graduate and avid market watcher with exposure to governance, NGO and mining environments. He was most recently hired as an oil and gas specialist for a trade publication.

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