Energy consultancy Xodus and metals manufacturing company Unique Metals announced a memorandum of understanding (MoU) which will leverage each company’s expertise to deliver Unique HyMetals, a hydrogen project aiming to support Australia’s net zero targets.  

The Unique HyMetals project for green metals fabrication is a first of its kind in Australia. It integrates hydrogen production for power generation, oxygen generation for laser-cutting machinery and use, as well as providing fuel for on-site mobility including forklift transport. As part of the MoU, Xodus will collaborate with Unique Metals to design the project and explore the company’s current emissions profile and the potential impact of the proposal.  

Unique HyMetals will enable the company to rebalance and optimise energy from rooftop solar and use it to transform water into hydrogen, which can then be used at times when solar is not feasible or unused. Furthermore, there will be zero waste, as the resulting oxygen, which is often considered a by-product of the process, will be captured and used for manufacturing activities such as laser cutting and oxyacetylene welding. 

There are two phases to the project: the first entails using the hydrogen produced to power the site and decarbonise it, with all machinery operating in the facility set to replace carbon intensive sources of energy with hydrogen fuel cells, as well as fuelling forklift transport. In phase two, there will be sufficient hydrogen produced on site for commercial scale refuelling infrastructure to become viable, allowing the facility to become part of the state’s network with a refuelling station for hydrogen vehicles. 

The initial construction phase is scheduled to start in 2022, with the second phase planned for 2025.  

Samuel Lee Mohan, Xodus head of hydrogen strategy said: “We are excited to deliver this ambitious project which would fit with the Australian government’s commitment to position the country as a major global player in hydrogen by 2030. Unique HyMetals builds on Western Australia’s renewable hydrogen strategy, including lessons learned from previous projects, to decarbonise its facility in Western Australia using hydrogen, thus paving the way for other difficult to decarbonise industries. 

“Our ambition is to exit the status quo and create a renewable energy future. Being a trusted energy advisor in an integrated energy future meets our goals of innovating the value chain through sustainable solutions.” 

Stephen Swindell, managing director at Xodus added: “This was a unique project for us from the get-go where, rather than waiting to be approached with a challenge, we proactively identified an opportunity using our vast network of industry experts. We are uniquely positioned to become trusted advisors and architect this project as we have access to industry and government insight, and a wide variety of energy specialists with different skillsets, both within and outwith Xodus.” 

Paul Figliomeni, managing director at Unique Metals added: “We look forward to the next steps on our energy transition journey and working with Xodus could mean our site is net zero by the end of 2024. We see this project as a gateway development to help support Australia build its hydrogen industry.  

“As the hydrogen industry grows, which we believe it will, it will become increasingly important that we have the capabilities to manufacture hydrogen technologies such as electrolysers. In the second objective of the project, our work with Xodus will look at the feasibility of replicating the manufacturing operations, hopefully manufacturing electrolysers, within a Hydrogen Hub in Western Australia.“ 

Unique HyMetals aims to build and operate a fully integrated hydrogen energy ecosystem with 65 tonnes of green hydrogen production, 20,000 MWh green hydrogen energy for manufacturing, seven tonnes of green hydrogen for transport and 500 tonnes of pure green oxygen per annum. 

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