The Asian Renewable Energy Hub (AWEH) will be the largest power station on earth and will be spread across 6,500 square kilometres in the North West of Western Australia.
The AWEH is one of the most exciting energy projects in the world, with the potential to address key energy, security and emissions reduction challenges facing Australia’s regional neighbours. Located in the East Pilbara region of Western Australia, The Asian Renewable Energy Hub is the most advanced green hydrogen project at scale comprising 26,000 megawatts of upstream wind and solar, capable of producing approximately 1.8 million tonnes per annum of green hydrogen, and up to 10 million tonnes per annum of green ammonia.
The project encompasses 6,500 square kilometres of land and is on the traditional lands of the Nyangumarta People, who have been closely engaged in the project since its inception and have actively participated in site ecological studies.
The AWEH is being developed by a consortium of four global renewable energy companies namely InterContinental Energy (ICE), CWP Energy Asia, Vestas, and Macquarie with an estimated investment of $22bn.
It is planned the project will create significant new manufacturing opportunities in Western Australia, as well as generate cheap clean power for the Pilbara region, enabling new and expanded mines, downstream mineral processing, and large-scale production of green hydrogen products for domestic and export markets. The scale of the project will enable the creation of new supply chain facilities for the manufacturing and assembly of equipment for wind and solar generation and for hydrogen production, which would create new, local, high value jobs. Approximately 20,000 jobs would be created during the 10-year project construction period, with 3,000 jobs created for the 50+ year operational period.
The project’s proposed plans include land for wind and solar infrastructure, developing pipelines to transport ammonia, and the development of a new town between Broome and Port Hedland to house workers.
The project is yet to receive federal environmental approval, with the proponents currently working to address points raised in mid-2021 around protection of bird species near Eighty Mile Beach, as well as potential disruption to tidal movement.
In the West Kimberley, the introduction of intensive centre pivot and taped irrigated systems has enabled the expansion of fruit and vegetable cropping into the area. There are a number of enterprises already taking advantage of the extensive groundwater resources, with further opportunities to develop in this area.