The government of South Australia has chosen ATCO (TSX: ACO.X) and the Linde plc (NYSE: LIN) subsidiary British Oxygen Company (BOC) to design what it says will become the world’s largest hydrogen production facility near Whyalla.
On Tuesday, ATCO announced the formation of a consortium comprised of ATCO’s Australia division and BOC. The companies have entered an early contractor involvement agreement with the state and the project’s operations are set to commence in 2026.
In addition to designing the production facility and a hydrogen power plant, the consortium will be involved with acquiring necessary equipment, finalizing different contracts and completing cost estimates for the endeavour. The government of South Australia took six months to assess 29 applications from different companies seeking to design the project before making their decision.
“This is a world-leading opportunity for South Australia that has the potential to rival Victoria’s gold rush, the coal boom in Queensland, or Western Australia’s development of iron ore and gas,” said Peter Malinauskas, Premier of South Australia.
“We have all the things the world will need to decarbonize: abundant copper and magnetite, the world’s best coincident wind and solar resources, world-leading renewable energy penetration and soon, the ability to harness this abundant clean energy in the form of hydrogen.”
A consortium comprising ATCO Australia and BOC, a Linde company is the preferred hydrogen delivery partner. pic.twitter.com/b3La8dzMIC
— Peter Malinauskas (@PMalinauskasMP) October 22, 2023
The hydrogen facilities are part of a $518 million program: South Australia’s Hydrogen Jobs Plan Project.
ATCO has also been involved with hydrogen projects in Canada in recent days. In October last year, the company started delivering a blend of natural gas containing 5 per cent hydrogen to a section of Fort Saskatchewan’s distribution system. Through doing so, 2,100 customers became the first in Alberta to use hydrogen-blended natural gas to power their homes and businesses.
Linde recently started supplying hydrogen to the Donaustadt power station in Vienna, Austria. Representatives from the company shared their knowledge at the Hydrogen Americas 2023 Summit and Exhibition in Washington, D.C at the beginning of this month as well.
ATCO shares are currently trading for $34.01 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Linde’s stock has steadily risen by over 27 per cent in the past year and is currently worth US$367.26 on the New York Stock Exchange.