BP to take 40.5% stake in one of world’s largest renewable power stations

BP has announced it will take a 40.5% stake in a much anticipated renewable energy project in Australia which is being billed as one of the largest in the world.

The oil and gas giant will operate the US$36 billion Asian Renewable Energy Hub (AREH) in Western Australia’s Pilbara region. The project will combine solar and wind facilities over an area covering 6,500 km2, delivering 26GW of renewable power capacity, along with 1.6 million tonnes (Mt) of green hydrogen and 9 Mt of green ammonia.

The mega-project has been moving slowly through the surveying and approvals process since its first proposal in 2014. BP’s investment in the AREH closely follows the election of a left of centre, pro-renewables government in Australia, which should support the development of the project when Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s Labor Party ascends to government next week.

Anja-Isabel Dotzenrath, BP’s executive vice president of gas and low carbon energy, said the company believes that ‘Australia has the potential to be a powerhouse in the global energy transition’.

“We believe AREH can be a cornerstone project for us in helping our local and global customers and partners in meeting their net zero and energy commitments,” she said. “It will also serve as a long-term clean energy security contributor in Asia-Pacific, helping countries such as South Korea and Japan to decarbonise.”

AREH’s renewable energy capacity of 26GW exceeds the generating capacity of China’s Three Gorges hydroelectric dam, which is by some measures the world’s largest currently operating power station.