France’s Total Eren has signed a memorandum of understanding that could see it team up with Province Resources to develop a potential green hydrogen hub in Western Australia’s Gascoyne region.

Australia-listed Province confirmed on Monday it has signed a binding MoU with Total Eren to carry out a feasibility study into Province’s proposed HyEnergy Zero Carbon Hydrogen project.

Each company will bear its own costs during the MoU, with the pair aiming to complete a scoping study and potentially execute definitive agreements within four months.

If the companies elect to move forward with the proposed development, they will each hold a 50% stake in the project, with development of the integrated hybrid renewable energy capacity to be led by Total Eren.

Total Eren’s global head of business development, Fabienne Demol, said: “This new step demonstrates our strong commitment to the Australian market towards the decarbonisation of the country and is also a concrete opportunity to kick-off our hydrogen strategy worldwide."

She added: “After solar, wind, and storage, we believe hydrogen is the next step of growth of renewable energies. We are determined to leverage our development and technical skills to make our first of several hydrogen projects in Australia a success.”

Development of 8GW of renewable energy

Province sees the HyEnergy project being developed in two stages, with the installed renewable energy capacity eventually anticipated to total 8 gigawatts.

The proposed project would be built near the West Australian town of Carnarvon, in an area Province believes is suitable for both commercial scale wind and solar developments.

Carnarvon has an annual mean wind speed of 25.5 kilometres per hour, which Province claims makes it fourth ranked in Western Australia for mean wind speeds recorded per annum.

It also averages 211 sunny days per year, with an average solar exposure of 6.24 megawatt hours per square metre per day, according to Province.

The company has previously stated that it intends to sell green hydrogen produced by the HyEnergy project both domestically and in Asian export markets.

The proposed development lies near the existing Dampier to Bunbury gas pipeline, with the West Australian state government having already stated it is aiming for the pipeline to carry 10% of blended renewable hydrogen by 2030.

Province also claims there is room for a ship loading terminal to help service the potential future export market, while it has also identified a potential site to extract sea water for an electrolyser plant.

Province expanding Gascoyne footprint

Mineral explorer Province only announced its intention to enter the green hydrogen space earlier this year following the acquisition of Ozexco.

Ozexco held seven exploration licence applications in the Gascoyne region prospective for salt, potash and mineral sands, while the acreage was also considered suitable for developing a renewable green hydrogen project.

At the time, Province stated the proposed HyEnergy project would generate 1GW of renewable energy and produce up to 60,000 tonnes of green hydrogen or up to 300,000 tonnes of green ammonia.

However, earlier this month Province revealed it had acquired an additional 864 square kilometres in the Gascoyne coastal region, increasing its landholding in the region to 2272 square kilometres.