Green hydrogen to urea in Western Australia

By Julian Atchison on September 16, 2021

Graphic visualisation of the Project Haber plant.
Click to learn more. Graphic visualisation of the Project Haber plant. Source: Strike Energy.

A new MoU will see Infinite Blue Energy supply green hydrogen to a to-be-built urea production facility near Geraldton, Western Australia. The Project Haber urea plant (a project from Strike Energy) is designed to reduce Australia’s reliance on urea imports, and at full scale will produce 1.4 million tonnes of urea per year.

Ammonia source

Details on the source of ammonia are unspecified, but at 1.4 million tonnes urea output, the plant would consume 800,000 tonnes of ammonia per year. This is the typical size of a world-scale, industrial Haber Bosch plant. Infinite Blue Energy’s promised delivery of green hydrogen from its Arrowsmith Hydrogen Plant (wind, solar and battery hybrid facility) will compliment renewable energy produced on site at Project Haber. All in all, up to 390 tonnes per day of green hydrogen will be required.

Infinite Blue Energy is on a pathway to producing 265tpd of green hydrogen for domestic and export markets from its Arrowsmith Hydrogen Plant in Western Australia. I am excited that we have entered into a MOU with Strike Energy as a first step to securing a long-term supply partnership with Project Haber, which currently represents the biggest industrial manufacturing opportunity for green hydrogen off-take in Australia.

Infinite Blue Energy CEO Stephen Gauld in the official press release, 15 September 2021

Urea is not a “carbon sink”

A recent announcement from Strike Energy reports Project Haber “paves the way to become regional green hydrogen and carbon sink,” which is misleading. Once operational, Project Haber will indeed be one of the biggest industrial consumers of carbon dioxide in Australia, with plans to import CO2 for additional urea production post 2036 (when the plant’s consumption of green hydrogen passes a critical point). But even with CO2 imports and green hydrogen, urea production will never become “carbon negative” or represent a “carbon sink” because urea does not store carbon across any meaningful time frame. All the CO2 in the urea molecule is released to the atmosphere once it is added to soil. Further discussion on this point can be found at Ammonia Industry.