GREEN HYDROGEN TO AMMONIA PROJECT
A PIONEERING PROJECT HARNESSING OUR NATURAL WIND RESOURCES IN TARANAKI
Hiringa Energy and Ballance Agri-Nutrients have formed a joint venture partnership to create a renewable hydrogen hub right here
in South Taranaki.
Developed locally, the $50million showcase project of Taranaki's new energy future will be based at Ballance's Kapuni ammonia-urea plant, and is seen as the catalyst for the development of a sustainable green hydrogen market in New Zealand to fuel heavy transport.
This innovative project has a planned construction of new wind turbines
to supply 100% renewable electricity directly to Ballance's Kapuni site and is currently in the consenting process.
We are working with the community and stakeholders to determine the best siting and location for the new turbines. As the project evolves, we will communicate the processes involved as well as estimated time frames.
The Project Team at Hiringa Energy and Ballance Agri-Nutrients are meeting with local Hapu and members of the community to outline the project and seek input around how together, we can progress this exciting opportunity for the region and New Zealand.
This website is where all progress updates and announcements can be found throughout the project's development.
Approximately 60% of New Zealand’s energy needs are currently met by fossil fuels. Hence the development of new renewable hydrogen projects across New Zealand will play a critical role in decarbonisation with significant potential impact on economic activity. New Zealand has committed to net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and green hydrogen is key to decarbonizing difficult sectors such as commercial and heavy transport and industrial chemicals.
The project will be the first project in New Zealand to couple wind generation integration with hydrogen production, creating new technical capability and new skilled jobs and opportunities in New Zealand
for green hydrogen production.
This project leverages the existing infrastructure and skills at the Kapuni production plant to deploy green hydrogen production at commercial scale, reduces sector GHG emissions, and reduces imported urea while demand builds in the transportation sector. This world-class project will demonstrate
New Zealand capability and leadership in the de-carbonisation of industry and transport.
The Project will involve the development of new wind generation near the Kapuni plant to provide baseload power to the plant. The excess electricity varies depending on the wind conditions and is used to produce up to 2,000 kg/day of hydrogen from water via electrolysis. The resulting green hydrogen can be used to produce ammonia or 7,000 tonnes/annum of urea using the existing Ballance production plant, or used directly for hydrogen fuel cell transport.
Ammonia is a colourless gas made of nitrogen and hydrogen (NH3) and is used as refrigerant gas, cleaning agent, and for water purification. It is internationally traded and a potential chemical for the export of hydrogen. It is also used for chemicals manufacture including urea CO(NH2)2. Urea has many uses but over 90% of the world's industrial production is used as a fertiliser.
Ballance Agri-Nutrients is currently using the hydrogen within natural gas (CH4) as its feedstock to produce ammonia and urea.
The green hydrogen can also be diverted to the transport market as that market develops. Hiringa is developing a nationwide refuelling network to enable the introduction of zero emission transport solutions, with a focus on heavy transport and buses. This hydrogen will provide an additional supply of hydrogen to the network and for a future refuelling hub at Kapuni.
Ballance Agri-Nutrients and Hiringa Energy have signed a Joint Development Agreement to execute the project, and plan to form a Joint Venture to own and operate the proposed plant.
Hiringa Energy is an energy development company focused on accelerating the roll-out of green hydrogen infrastructure for zero emission energy and transport within New Zealand. Hiringa is a high growth clean energy company located in Taranaki, and is Development Manager for the project.
Ballance Agri-nutrients is New Zealand’s leading fertiliser company and owner/operator of the country’s only ammonia and urea production facility. Ballance is one of New Zealand’s largest producers and consumers of hydrogen currently produced from natural gas. The Ballance production operations team have over 30 years of direct experience with the management of industrial scale hydrogen and ammonia production and maintenance of facilities.
Ballance Agri-nutrients is one of the largest employers in South Taranaki, with a skilled workforce of 130 staff and an additional 20 contractors who provide local employment with significant flow on benefits for the local community.
The Ballance and Hiringa Project Team is focused on creating a new energy future for New Zealand.
The Team at Hiringa Energy and Ballance Agri-Nutrients have begun consultations with local Hapu, communities, neighbouring properties as well as business owners, to help determine the most suitable and beneficial locations for the new wind turbines.
The following link from the New Zealand Wind Energy Association provides some useful information around wind turbine considerations;
If you are a landowner in the Kapuni area and haven't meet with us regarding the project yet, our team will be reaching out to you over the coming weeks and months.
Through this website, we will communicate project updates, answer your frequently asked questions and keep you informed as the project progresses.
We welcome you to contact us at any point throughout the development and construction of this project. You will find a contact form at the bottom of this page.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
I've got more questions. Who can I contact to discuss them?
We welcome your questions or concerns and encourage you to contact us. You can do this by using the contact form at the bottom of this page.
What type of jobs will the project create?
The project will create professional and skilled jobs during development, construction and operations. The clean energy hub at Kapuni will require specialist skills for renewable energy and transport projects. Jobs include professional services, engineering, consenting, health and safety, project management, and trades for installation and maintenance.
Ballance is one of the largest employers in the South Taranaki region and employees a number of skilled specialist contractors and tradespeople in the region.
How will this project transition Kapuni to low emissions?
This project is the first step to a significant reduction in emissions at Kapuni while creating employment opportunities and certainty for the existing workforce and contractors at the plant.
This project will catalyse additional renewable generation developments in the region, which will ultimately enable additional power for production of hydrogen for the Kapuni plant. Future electrolysis may be at the plant and power transmitted via power lines to the plant, or near other renewable generation sites and hydrogen transmitted to the plant via pipelines. South Taranaki has considerable wind and other renewable resource potential.
Why not use grid electricity?
The Kapuni site has limited electricity supply infrastructure and the direct coupling of wind to electrolysis enables utilisation of excess electricity no matter the time of day. We will also have a grid connection that will allow us to purchase electricity from the grid and sell excess electricity to provide operational flexibility.
How will the hydrogen be transported to market?
The hydrogen will be transported to other refuelling locations as compressed gas on tube trailers. Hiringa is working with MBIE, NZTA, regulators and equipment suppliers to enable the transport of compressed hydrogen. Kapuni is serviced by ~40 trucks each day with potential to convert this fleet to hydrogen and fuel at Kapuni. Hydrogen can also be cost effectively piped, and Hiringa’s engineering team together with consulting engineers and international experts are designing reticulation piping systems for hydrogen.
Will there be a refuelling station at Kapuni?
In the future, a refuelling station is envisaged at Kapuni. Over 40 trucks a day visit the Kapuni site, and neighbouring plants contribute another 40+ trucks visits per day, making the site an ideal location for a refuelling for heavy vehicles.
Hiringa Energy is working with the local transport companies and has identified potential routes for trials at Kapuni. However, it is anticipated that initially the hydrogen will be transported to other refuelling stations.
Why will the hydrogen be used for transport?
Hydrogen is one of the only viable solutions for decarbonising heavy transport. Fuel cell electric vehicles are zero emission vehicles with long range and fast refuelling that enables similar utilisation and benefits of diesel powered vehicles. Fuel cells are 2-3 times more efficient than internal combustion engines, and the amount of hydrogen required to travel is less than if hydrogen was combusted. For example, a car travels ~100km - 120km from 1kg of hydrogen.
For more information on hydrogen and Hiringa Energy see www.hiringa.co.nz
Will Ballance still produce urea from natural gas?
Yes, this project doesn’t replace existing natural gas production at Kapuni. That would require future expansion of green hydrogen production capacity.
What does 2,000kg of green hydrogen equate to?
2,000kg per day will be enough green hydrogen to power approximately 6,000 light vehicles or up to 300 buses and trucks.
What does 7,000 tonnes of green urea equate to?
7,000 tonnes of urea is enough urea to supply approximately 150 large farms’ needs.
How many wind turbines are planned and what size will they be?
Hiringa is currently collecting wind speed and direction data that will be used to determine wind turbine location, number and size. The project feasibility case used 4 turbines.
What does Ballance Agri-Nutrients use urea for?
To produce nitrogen-rich fertiliser, which is critical to all aspects of agricultural food production - including vegetables, fruit, meat and dairy.
Why is Ballance investing in this project?
The Green Hydrogen project at Kapuni represents an important first step for Ballance Agri-Nutrients in their efforts to reduce their environmental and carbon emissions footprint.
It will enable Ballance to start the transition away from using non-renewable hydrogen sources (such as natural gases) – instead harnessing wind and water energy to produce carbon-neutral hydrogen.
How can I find out more about Ballance Agri-Nutrients?
Ballance Agri-Nutrients is a farmer-owned co-operative with more than 18,500 shareholders throughout New Zealand, with a strong focus on Kaitiakitanga, and takes their responsibility to guard and protect our natural environment for future generations very seriously - https://ballance.co.nz/
How can I find out more about Hiringa Energy?
Hiringa Energy is the first company in New Zealand dedicated to the supply of green hydrogen, and providing solutions for industry, the public sector, and transport operators. We are establishing production, distribution and refuelling infrastructure to enable the adoption of hydrogen solutions - https://hiringa.co.nz