Hydrogen Energy

Green hydrogen venture moves up a gear

Halcyon Power Ltd, the 50/50 joint venture between Tuaropaki Trust and Obayashi Corporation of Japan to produce green hydrogen, has entered a new phase.

The plant, in development since 2018, was officially opened on December 9 by Minister of Energy and Resources Megan Woods.

It is now providing hydrogen domestically with the capability to produce around 180 tonnes in the first year.

The Trust entered the joint venture with Obayashi to encourage the commercial production and wider use of hydrogen as a transport fuel.

Halcyon uses electricity generated by the Tuaropaki Power Station to electrolyze water to produce ‘green hydrogen’ – that is, not involving fossil fuels.

The ultimate aim, says Trust chief executive officer Steve Murray, is to complete a hydrogen supply chain that includes transportation, site storage and refuelling infrastructure.

“With the trust’s company Halcyon Power and Obayashi now joined in a consortium with New Zealand’s Gallagher Fuel Systems and Australia’s H2H Energy, collaboration for the rollout of fit-for-purpose, safe, innovative, durable and affordable fast hydrogen refuelling stations is underway.”

The project also has the technical support of GNS Science to develop a nationwide hydrogen quality control capability.

Obayashi Corporation of Japan

Established in 1892 and headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, our venture partner Obayashi Corporation, operates in multi-faceted projects including in civil engineering and building construction.  Obayashi has representative offices in 14 countries and more than 15,000 employees. 

Tuaropaki contributes to the development of a lower carbon economy in New Zealand and Japan 

Murray says the future of green hydrogen is not only as a substitute for fossil fuels but also to replace industrial hydrogen produced using natural gas or coal.

The plant’s development, despite hiccups due to Covid-19, is in line with Tuaropaki’s commitment to sustainable enterprise, says Murray, and followed on from the expertise it had built up since the opening of the Mokai geothermal power station in 2000.  

“Our joint hydrogen venture aligns with our values of looking after our environment and championing the research and development of alternative renewable green energy.

“While helping New Zealand decarbonise, it opens up the potential for the country to export hydrogen and intellectual property related to hydrogen as a reticulated fuel.”

Trust chair Gina Rangi says as well as fitting in with the trust’s ethos to protect and develop its land and people sustainably, the hydrogen plant is a step towards the country’s Zero Carbon Act goals of zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Normally fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) require around 5kg to fill the tank, for a range of over 600-800 km.

Murray says the Trust has embarked on this journey because it believes hydrogen has a significant role to play in the whole country’s plans to decarbonise.

Visit the Halcyon Power Ltd website: www.halcyonpower.nz