Woodside to spend over $745 mln on hydrogen, ammonia plant

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The shadow of a man is cast onto a poster displaying the logo for Woodside Petroleum, Australia's top independent oil and gas company, at a briefing for investors in Sydney, Australia, May 23, 2018. REUTERS/David Gray

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MELBOURNE, Oct 25 (Reuters) - Woodside Petroleum (WPL.AX) will invest more than A$1 billion ($746 million) to build a carbon-neutral hydrogen and ammonia production facility in Western Australia, the state government said on Monday.

"The first phase of the facility, dubbed H2Perth, will include more than A$1 billion in capital expenditure," the state's premier, Mark McGowan, and other ministers said in a joint statement.

Woodside said at full capacity the project would produce up to 1,500 tonnes a day, or 547,500 tonnes a year, of hydrogen for export, in the form of ammonia and liquid hydrogen. It aims to begin construction in 2024, subject to commercial and regulatory approvals.

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Woodside declined to comment on the cost.

Western Australia is racing against Australia's other major coal and gas exporting states to build a hydrogen industry as the world looks to cut planet-warming carbon emissions.

The state said it would support Woodside by leasing industrial land for the project in Kwinana, south of Perth, to the company, Australia's biggest independent gas producer. The location is close to gas, power, water and port infrastructure.

"These advantages will make a huge difference to cost of supply and schedule and help H2Perth deliver competitively priced hydrogen to customers," Woodside CEO Meg O'Neill said in a statement.

Earlier this month top coal exporting state New South Wales said it would offer A$3 billion in incentives to attract hydrogen projects, while neighbouring Queensland state announced backing for the world's largest electrolyser manufacturing plant. read more

($1 = 1.3398 Australian dollars)

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Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Stephen Coates

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