top of page

Kapuni green hydrogen project appeal dismissed

4 November 2022

PRESS RELEASE


An appeal over consent granted for Hiringa Energy’s Kapuni Green Hydrogen Project has been dismissed in New Zealand’s High Court.


Hiringa Energy, together with its partner in the project Ballance Agri-Nutrients, will now go back to the project scope and revisit its requirements with suppliers and contractors.


Hiringa Energy CEO Andrew Clennett says a lot has changed since the project’s inception and when it was submitted last year to an expert panel under the COVID-19 Recovery (Fast-track Consenting) Act 2020.


“Not only has the annual rate of inflation increased in the construction sector in New Zealand, markedly above the general rate of 7.3%, but overseas development of the hydrogen sector has accelerated,” he says.


“We now need to reconfirm delivery times for our turbines and other technical equipment. Unfortunately, the delay caused by the appeal and the dismissal in late October means this 2022-23 summer construction season will be missed.”


The Kapuni project is a joint venture between Hiringa Energy and Ballance Agri-Nutrients (Ballance). It will see electricity generated by four wind turbines to provide power, through the electricity grid, to the neighbouring Ballance ammonia-urea manufacturing plant. It will also supply though the electricity grid with renewable energy sufficient to power up to 24,000 homes during peak power.


Taranaki’s world class wind resource will be used to produce green hydrogen from water via electrolysis, to initially make low emission ammonia-urea at Ballance. This has enabled the project to be funded while New Zealand’s hydrogen use expands. A flexible volume of green hydrogen will be diverted as the market grows throughout New Zealand, especially in heavy transport.


The High Court appeal was made by Te Korowai o Ngāruahine Trust (TKONT) with support from Taranaki hapū and Greenpeace as an interested party.


In her decision to dismiss the appeal, Justice Grice said she was satisfied the expert panel which granted the consent in December 2021 had not failed to consider the cultural landscape of Ngāruahine as a whole.


The panel had acknowledged the effort Hiringa had gone to in order to ensure it had consulted iwi and hapū with an interest in the project, to determine how kaitiakitanga could be integrated into the project, to mitigate the cultural effects of the project and to build a relationship that would result in positive outcomes for the hapū, Te Korowai, the broader community and the environment, the decision says.


Mr Clennett says Hiringa Energy wants to strengthen those relationships and work together as Taranaki transitions from a fossil fuel economy into one that embraces renewable energy.


“We have been particularly heartened and grateful for the ongoing support of mana whenua hapū Ngāti Manuhiakai, throughout what has been a challenging appeal process,” he says. “We would like to thank the hapū for the time and effort it took to understand the project and what we are seeking to achieve. We share a common desire to respect the environment and their culture, while creating a sustainable future for generations to come.” We recognise that the project will have an impact on the landscape and the concerns of the appellants. Our goal is to work constructively with TKONT, the hapū and the community to minimise that impact as far and possible.


Mr Clennett says the Kapuni project is a critical early step for New Zealand to achieve emission reductions through the large-scale replacement of fossil fuels with green hydrogen to decarbonise heavy transport and industrial processes such as the production of fertiliser, steel and cement.


“Projects of this nature are necessary to achieve the Government’s carbon reduction objectives,” he says. “For Taranaki, it will catalyse the transition from a fossil fuels economy to a carbon-neutral one.


“For local people the project represents an estimated 40 jobs and $4 million plus wages during the build and the development of local technical expertise. But much more than that, it gives the region hope that it can achieve a just transition away from a fossil fuel economy.


Ballance chief executive Mark Wynne says the planned manufacture of green ammonia-urea enables the reduction of up to 12,500 tonnes of carbon emissions and replaces 7,000 tonnes of imported urea made by higher-emitting offshore producers.


Ballance’s ammonia-urea plant in Kapuni is New Zealand’s only producer of urea (approximately ~30% of New Zealand’s total urea use), which supports our food production systems (horticulture, viticulture, arable, meat and dairy). The offtake to the plant can be interrupted to divert to the transport market but plays an important role in enabling the project to be funded, hence the proximity to the existing plant is key.


Hiringa Energy is seeing evidence of the rapid development and adoption of green hydrogen around the world – for trucks, buses, planes, trains, boats and many industrial uses.


“Wind turbines are an important part of that development as they provide the renewable energy used in the production of green hydrogen,” Mr Clennett says. “Hydrogen supports deeper electrification, as it can be produced outside of peak demand times and is a store of energy that can be transported and used when required - similar to a battery, but without the same environmental impacts.


“There are a number of truck manufacturers looking to green hydrogen as it is in heavy transport that hydrogen is of most impactful. For example, NZ Post is now running its first Hyundai green hydrogen truck and TR Group is introducing a fleet of Hyzon green hydrogen trucks for New Zealand roads. Others truck manufacturers such as Volvo and Daimler are well advanced too.


“In the marine sector, Emirates Team New Zealand is seen as a leading innovator with its green hydrogen powered chase boats, which Hiringa Energy has helped with refuelling expertise.


“In aviation, Airbus is just one manufacturer working on green hydrogen plane development. Air New Zealand understands the potential of hydrogen power for its future domestic fleet. Meanwhile, hydrogen trains have already gone into service in parts of Europe.”


The Hiringa green hydrogen refuelling network is expected to be operational in the North Island during 2023, and the Kapuni production will provide an important source of flexible volume supply to the refuelling network to support the growth of the FCEV transport fleet, while building capability and encouraging innovation in the region.


ENDS


Visual simulation of the four wind turbines to be erected near Ballance Agri-Nutrients' Kapuni Site in South Taranaki.

480 views0 comments

Comentários


bottom of page