Plans for Port Pirie to home $750mil green hydrogen project

SA is a step closed to a greener future, with plans unveiled for a $750 million hydrogen project to launch as part of the Nyrstar Port Pirie smelter.

One of the largest physical commodity trading groups in the world, Trafigura has teamed up with the state government to launch a feasibility study to examine the potential for a $750 million hydrogen facility in Port Pirie.

Trafigura announced this morning it had committed to a $5 million study for the planned hub, with costs for the assessment contributed in joint with the State Government,

To be integrated with the Nyrstar Port Pirie smelter, the project plans to accelerate the investment and jobs boom the project will deliver to Port Pirie. 

“Since Trafigura became the majority owner of Nyrstar, we’ve been working together on how they could invest further in South Australia, and we are thrilled to unveil this world class project”, Premier Steven Marshall says.

“This $750 million project is part of the ongoing transformation of South Australia into a producer of green hydrogen of global significance based on our outstanding renewable energy resources”, he says.

“Projects like Trafigura’s with the support of the South Australian and Federal Governments – will help South Australia achieve net 500% renewable energy compared to current grid demand by 2050, as detailed in Our Climate Change Action Plan”, he continues.

The first stage would involve an 85 megawatt electrolyser, creating hydrogen and oxygen by splitting water with renewable energy.

The oxygen would be used to supply around 20 per cent of the needs of the Port Pirie smelter, and the hydrogen converted to ammonia for export and use by shipping, domestic transport and supporting the Port Pirie Industrial Precinct. 

The second stage would involve a 440 megawatt electrolyser, supplying the entire oxygen needs of the smelter, and producing large amounts of ammonia for export while maintaining supply to the domestic market.  

“I’m committed to bringing jobs to our region, and this project is a great opportunity for the people of Port Pirie and the Upper Spencer Gulf”, says Minister for Energy and Mining, Dan Van Holst Pellekaan.

“The South Australian Government’s Hydrogen Action Plan will turn our world-class wind and sun resources into clean fuel to run shipping and trucking fleets, and power industry here and abroad”, he says.

“Our vision is a Renewable Energy Industrial Precinct in the Spencer Gulf – incorporating Port Pirie, Port Augusta, Whyalla and our world-class copper resources, to support jobs for generations to come”, he continued.

The project will allow other industries to be established at Port Pirie to make use of the available hydrogen and ammonia, whilst improving the competitiveness of the smelter.

“By integrating green hydrogen production with the existing smelter and port, paired with South Australia’s world-class renewables, we think this project stands out from the pack globally”, says GM of Trafigura Australia, Tim Rogers.

“Through Nyrstar, we’re committed to the people of Port Pirie and the Upper Spencer Gulf and want to expand our presence and help attract new industries to the region”, he says.

This project is a part of a list of hydrogen projects in SA, that include H2U’s Eyre Peninsula Gateway project, and Australia’s largest operating green hydrogen facility, AGIG’s 1.25MW facility at Tonsley, which is blending hydrogen into the existing gas network in nearby Mitchell Park.

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