New Zealand power company Meridian Energy has selected Woodside Energy as its preferred partner to move into the development stage of the large Southern Green Hydrogen (SGH) project.

Woodside and Fortescue Future Industries were in final negotiations to become the project’s lead developer.

Meridian said Woodside was selected based on its capability and experience in operations, process safety and liquids marketing.

The proposed project is aiming to produce 500,000 tonnes per annum of ammonia using electrolysis from renewable power.

Technical work on the facility is continuing in parallel with the design of the commercial structure for the project.

The project is to be located in the far south of New Zealand’s South Island and options for the domestic supply of hydrogen and ammonia, as well as the export of ammonia to Asia and Europe, will be assessed.

The Japanese conglomerate Mitsui & Co is also in discussions to join the project and develop the potential market for ammonia offtake.

Meridian, Woodside and Mitsui, subject to finalising commercial arrangements, will work towards starting front-end engineering design on the project.

“We believe a large-scale hydrogen and ammonia facility in Southland, focused on the export market, will accelerate the development of a domestic hydrogen economy and strengthen New Zealand’s platform to contributing to decarbonising our transport and industrial sectors,” Meridian chief executive Neal Barclay said.

Woodside chief executive Meg O’Neill said: “We are pleased to have been selected as the preferred partner for the proposed SGH project.

“Woodside brings the technical skill and operations experience to develop this project at pace to meet customer demand for hydrogen which we expect to grow in the energy transition.

“We look forward to working with Meridian and Mitsui to potentially offer this important customer solution both domestically and globally.”

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