The Government of South Australia has officially designated ATCO and BOC Linde as the preferred contractors for the construction of a A$593 million ($376 million) hydrogen production plant and storage facility near Whyalla in the Upper Spencer Gulf region of South Australia.
Out of 29 competing companies, which included Andrew Forrest's Fortescue Future Industries, the Canadian firm ATCO and Europe's BOC Linde emerged as the chosen contractors. The decision was based on their extensive experience in electrolysers, generators, on-site storage, and operational expertise, according to the Government of South Australia.
Under this agreement, ATCO and BOC Linde will undertake project and engineering design, procure essential equipment, finalize contracting arrangements, and provide cost estimations for the ambitious project.
Operations for this groundbreaking initiative are scheduled to commence by 2026, with ownership vested in the South Australian taxpayers. The hydrogen production facility is anticipated to generate 250MW of power, accompanied by a hydrogen-fueled electricity generation facility capable of producing 200MW of electricity.
Peter Malinauskas, the Premier of South Australia, expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “This is a world-leading opportunity for South Australia, with the potential to rival Victoria's gold rush, the coal boom in Queensland, or Western Australia's development of iron ore and gas. We have all the things the world will need to decarbonize—abundant copper and magnetite, the world's best coincident wind and solar resources, world-leading renewable energy penetration, and soon, the ability to harness this abundant clean energy in the form of hydrogen.”
Both ATCO and BOC Linde have a long-standing presence in South Australia, with over 60 years of operations in the region. ATCO currently manages the 180MW Osborne Power Station in Adelaide, further reinforcing their commitment to sustainable energy solutions in the area.