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Refining NZ to study repurposing of Marsden Point oil refinery

Refining NZ to study repurposing of Marsden Point oil refinery

Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) and Refining NZ (RNZ) have agreed to investigate repurposing facilities at the RNZ Marsden Point oil refinery to produce green hydrogen and green hydrogen products.

RNZ is based in Marsden Point, two hours north of Auckland, and is the country’s only oil refinery and the leading supplier of refined petroleum products to the New Zealand market, including petrol, diesel, aviation fuel and other products.

In November 2021, the Board of RNZ made a final decision to convert the facility into an import only facility, which meant around 65% of their existing site would be available for future growth opportunities once the transition had taken place in April 2022.

Fortescue Future Industries, a subsidiary of Australia’s Fortescue Metals Group, is a global green energy company that is committed to producing zero-emission green hydrogen from 100% renewable sources.

FFI and RNZ signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in mid-December 2021 to study the commercial and technical feasibility of producing, storing, distributing, and exporting industrial-scale green hydrogen and green hydrogen products from the decommissioned RNZ site as it transitions to an import-only fuel terminal.

FFI will undertake feasibility studies which will assess key operational and commercial projections for the project and enable the development of a project timeline.

This announcement was an important step forward in FFI’s plans to turn fossil fuel emitters into zero-carbon green hydrogen producers worldwide, said FFI Chairman and Founder Dr. Andrew Forrest AO.

“Green hydrogen can provide all sorts of advantages to local and export economies—and is the answer our planet needs now,” he said.

In December, FFI announced that it would look into producing green hydrogen at a retiring coal-fired power station in Australia. The Liddell and Bayswater power stations currently account for more than 40% of New South Wales’ carbon dioxide emissions, according to 2019 National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting data. Successful repurposing of these sites will supercharge NSW to meet its target of halving its emissions by 2030, and prove the role of green hydrogen in decarbonising and demethaning energy and industry here in Australia.

“We are looking to kick off something similar at Marsden Point oil refinery in New Zealand,” Forrest said.

“Green hydrogen production at Marsden Point will potentially deliver energy security, good local jobs, and the decarbonisation of local heavy industry – all while reducing emissions for New Zealand,” he said.

The existing RNZ site has existing infrastructure such as a deep-water port, proximity to large electricity grid connections and an industrial water supply which FFI will investigate repurposing to produce green products.

“The potential of green hydrogen to support New Zealand’s energy transition is huge, so we are delighted that FFI has chosen to partner with us as we jointly investigate what might be possible in years to come,” Chief Executive Officer of RNZ, Naomi James, said.

“As a New Zealander, I am keen for us to harness the immense potential of New Zealand to benefit from a green hydrogen industry,” said FFI Director of Australia East and New Zealand, Felicity Underhill.