Glencore Surat Hydrogen Project
Glencore is investing in studies for a commercial scale hydrogen and ammonia project in Queensland known as the Glencore Surat Hydrogen Project.
We are one of the world’s largest diversified natural resource companies and aim to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. As well as providing the metals and minerals for a low carbon future, Glencore is investing in ways to reduce emissions from fossil fuels.
Glencore is investing in abatement and technology initiatives that will contribute to decarbonisation and the global transition to a low emission future.
Hydrogen is one potential pathway to a net zero emission future.
Today, hydrogen is mostly used by heavy industry but in the future hydrogen could also be used for energy and transport.
Glencore's investment of $40 million AUD will fund pre-feasibility studies into the use of coal as feedstock to produce hydrogen and ammonia.
To produce hydrogen from coal it needs to be gasified to create syngas which is then processed to make hydrogen and then ammonia.
We use ammonia, which is a hydrogen carrier, to economically and safely store and transport the hydrogen we have created so it can be used in Australia and exported to customers overseas.
We are aiming to use carbon capture and storage technology to capture the majority of total carbon dioxide emissions produced as part of the process.
The emissions will be captured, transported and stored deep underground at Glencore’s EPQ10 carbon storage site in Queensland.
Intro to Glencore's Surat Hydrogen Project
Open letter to community
Hydrogen can be liberated from coal through gasification and can be stored physically as either a gas or a liquid. Storing hydrogen as a liquid involves high costs and is energy intensive to reduce the temperature of the hydrogen below its boiling point of −252.8°C.
Today, hydrogen is most commonly used in petroleum refining and ammonia production for use in fertiliser products, while energy and transportation are emerging markets for hydrogen and ammonia.
These existing industries will need to be decarbonised through a transition, assisted by low carbon hydrogen production.
Other decarbonisation opportunities
Additional opportunities to decarbonise other industries through the use of hydrogen includes shipping, aviation, steel-making, long-term energy storage, high temperature industrial heating, blending with natural gas, and as a building block for other low emission fuels.
Storing hydrogen chemically as ammonia (NH3) provides an economic method of transport through higher volumetric hydrogen storage densities with mild pressurisation and temperature constraints similar to liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).
Ammonia has a higher volumetric energy density, at 12.7 megajoules per litre (MJ/L) than liquid hydrogen, at 8.5 MJ/L. Ammonia can be used directly at the destination or converted back to produce hydrogen.
Glencore Surat Hydrogen is currently at the pre-feasibility studies level and is being developed with the support of experienced consultants and major technology, infrastructure and engineering providers.
Glencore Surat Hydrogen is in the early stages of development and, subject to approvals, is expected to reach final investment decision in 2029.
Glencore Surat Hydrogen comprises two elements, namely the hydrogen project and the carbon storage project.
The projects will require approval from the State and Commonwealth Governments before they can be developed.
Glencore has the necessary approvals for the development of the Wandoan coal resource in the Surat Basin in Queensland.
Glencore Surat Hydrogen Project is consistent with Glencore’s strategy to responsibly meet the energy needs of today, and our strategic approach of decarbonisation through:
- reducing Scope 3 emissions
The project also:
- creates hydrogen marketing opportunities
- creates the ability to be a major producer in a large emerging hydrogen market.
The basic process
Glencore will look to utilise the energy contained in the Wandoan coal resource by converting it to hydrogen and using carbon capture and storage (CCS) to significantly reduce emissions.
Wandoan is located 400 kilometres north-west of Brisbane and 380 kilometres south-west of the Port of Gladstone.
Subject to regulatory approval, the hydrogen facility will likely be located west of the town of Wandoan.
The captured carbon dioxide will be transported via pipeline to the permanent storage site located at Glencore’s EPQ 10 storage tenements about 200 kilometres south.
Coal to ammonia production
Mining: Conventional truck and shovel mine producing coal for gasification.
Gasification: Coal feedstock is ‘gasified’ to produce a ‘syngas’ consisting of mainly hydrogen and carbon monoxide. Impurities are removed from the syngas and its hydrogen content enriched.
Note: Coal gasification occurs above ground as part of large-scale industrial facility and should not be confused with underground coal gasification.
Ammonia production: Hydrogen is removed from the cleaned syngas. The hydrogen is then combined with nitrogen to synthesise ammonia using the Haber-Bosch reaction.
- Energy generation - As a result of the hydrogen and ammonia production process, gas and heat is produced which is utilised to generate on-site low carbon electricity for the overall process.
- Capture - Carbon dioxide is captured as part of the hydrogen production process and is compressed for transport.
Ammonia: Ammonia product is transported via pipeline to the port in a compressed liquid form. At the port, ammonia is stored in tanks ready for export.
Carbon dioxide: Carbon dioxide is also compressed and transported via pipeline to the storage site.
- Carbon dioxide storage - The carbon dioxide is then injected underground to a depth of more than two kilometres where it is permanently stored and subjected to ongoing monitoring.
The Wandoan resource has a number of attributes which make it ideal for producing hydrogen.
- The properties of the coal are suited for gasification.
- The nearby proximity to a highly prospective Glencore owned carbon storage site.
A taskforce report and the Queensland Government CO2 Storage Atlas identified the Surat Basin as a key geostorage area. The report found almost three billion tonnes of theoretical CO2 storage potential is available in the area.
Development of Glencore Surat Hydrogen has the potential to provide significant opportunities for the local, regional and state economies, with infrastructure development and export revenue as well as benefits to local communities including jobs, training, business opportunities and upgraded local services.
If you have any questions about Glencore Surat Hydrogen, contact our team on 1800 948 066 or use the form below to get in touch.
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