A pioneering hydrogen production plant in South Australia is in the final stages of commissioning, with production expected to start before the end of the year.

Australian Gas Infrastructure Group subsidiary Australian Gas Networks (AGN) confirmed Monday it had completed the installation of the electrolyser at the Hydrogen Park South Australia (HyP SA) facility, with final construction works to be completed “shortly”.

AGN said the plant was now undergoing commissioning before commencing supply of blended renewable hydrogen and natural gas into an adjoining suburban network near the Tonsley Innovation District later this year.

It comes as AGN also revealed Monday it had signed an agreement with industrial gas company Boc to install tube trailer refilling infrastructure at the site, enabling hydrogen to be road-hauled from the facility.

Boc intends to supply industrial customers in Whyalla and Adelaide with hydrogen from HyP SA, replacing current tube trailer hydrogen deliveries to Whyalla from Victoria, which AGN claimed would save 122,000 kilograms of carbon emissions per year.

SIGN UP FOR OUR NEW ENERGY TRANSITION NEWSLETTER

Energy explored: Gain valuable insight into the global oil and gas industry's energy transition from Accelerate, the new weekly newsletter from Upstream and Recharge. Sign up here.

“The short delivery routes for gas sourced from AGIG’s HyP SA will significantly reduce costs and open the hydrogen market in South Australia. The reduction in transport emissions also makes this a great move towards our goal of delivering green hydrogen to South Australia,” Boc director of strategy and business development, Vesna Olles said.

“Previously, hydrogen was transported to South Australia from Victoria. The volumes from HyP SA will also supply Western Australian customers, significantly reducing their transport emissions for hydrogen that was produced using 100% renewable energy.”

South Australian Minister for Energy and Mining, Dan van Holst Pellekaan, also welcomed the agreement between AGN and Boc.

“This is an Australian-first application of tube trailers to transport renewable hydrogen to industry and will see the local production of ‘green’ hydrogen to displace ‘brown’ hydrogen currently imported from the east coast,” he said.

Installation of the tube trailer infrastructure is expected to be completed by January next year, with first commercial deliveries to Whyalla commencing shortly afterwards.