[31 May/Stuff NZ]

A $50 million clean energy project using wind power to produce hydrogen fuel for the heavy transport sector is being touted as the beginning of the hydrogen industry in Taranaki. The joint venture between Ballance Agri-Nutrients, the country’s second largest producer of hydrogen, and Hiringa Energy was planned to produce “green” hydrogen at Ballance’s Kapuni ammonia urea plant in South Taranaki. The joint venture has been described by the region’s economic development agency, Venture Taranaki, as fantastic for the local economy and the country. The announcement of the project comes less than a month after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said a $27 million clean energy centre would be built in Taranaki by the Government, and another $20 million will go into research. The first stage of the project will see four new wind turbines built at Kapuni. The process will produce enough hydrogen fuel to power 6000 cars, or 300 trucks or buses, a Ballance Agri-Nutrients spokesman said.