Kapuni ‘green‘ hydrogen project seen as catalyst for New Zealand market

3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineJune 20, 2019

Ballance Agri-Nutrients and Hiringa Energy have confirmed a joint development agreement for a major clean-tech project in Taranaki to produce ‘green‘ hydrogen using renewable energy.

The $50 million showcase project of Taranaki‘s new energy future will be based at Ballance‘s Kapuni ammonia-urea plant, and is seen as a catalyst for the development of a sustainable green hydrogen market in New Zealand to fuel heavy transport – as fleet operators push to reduce carbon emissions in response to zero carbon legislative change.

“This flagship green hydrogen project is a collaboration of national significance,” says Ballance Agri-Nutrients CEO Mark Wynne.

“Working with Hiringa we have a truly unique opportunity to create a hydrogen ecosystem at Kapuni – powered by renewable energy – that we can grow and develop as a template for New Zealand‘s leadership in what is an exciting space globally.”

The Kapuni Green Hydrogen production alone is expected to generate sufficient ‘green‘ hydrogen to supply up to 6000 cars, or 300 buses and trucks per year.

Hiringa Energy CEO Andrew Clennett says the project has national significance and is linked with Hiringa‘s development of a hydrogen supply and refuelling network in New Zealand to enable use of hydrogen fuel cell technology for zero-emission heavy transport – displacing imported fossil fuels with home-grown clean energy.

Under the Joint Development Agreement the two companies are planning the construction of up to four large wind turbines (with a total capacity of 16MW) to supply 100% renewable electricity directly to the Kapuni site, and also power electrolysers (electrolysis plant) to produce high-purity hydrogen – for feedstock into the ammonia-urea plant or for supply as ‘zero-emission‘ transport fuel.

“We‘re thrilled to be able to bring this opportunity forward for our farmer-shareholders, for Taranaki, and for New Zealand – to create a renewable hydrogen energy hub that could enable deep cuts in emissions from our heavy transport fleets and also produce an alternative green nutrient source to help keep New Zealand growing,” Wynne says.