Friday, 13 July 2018

AFC Energy: First Commercial H2 Power Generation Order in Australia

Source: "AFC Energy Receives First Commercial Hydrogen Power Generation Order in Australia from Southern Oil Refining", AFC Energy, 12th July 2018

AFC Energy (AIM: AFC), the industrial fuel cell power company, is pleased to confirm receipt of its first commercial order in Australia for its proprietary hydrogen power generation unit from refiner, Southern Oil Refining Pty Ltd ("Southern Oil").


  • Southern Oil, through its wholly owned subsidiary Northern Oil Pty Ltd ("Northern Oil"), has placed an order for the first AFC Energy hydrogen power generation unit in Australia;
  • The hydrogen power generation unit, expected to be sized between 200kW and 400kW, subject to engineering, will be located at Northern Oil's world leading Advanced Biofuels Refinery near Gladstone, Australia;
  • Non-refundable deposit to be paid to AFC Energy within five business days of the offer;
  • Brief period of engineering now commencing to finalise final project sizing, scope and commensurate contract terms;
  • AFC Energy plans to sell the balance of plant for its hydrogen generation unit to Southern Oil and lease the system's stack and electrodes for an undisclosed sum reflective of the project's capital cost (incl. fuel cells);
  • Northern Oil to utilise surplus hydrogen from its Gladstone refinery in the process and consume all power produced within its facilities at a cost better than its existing grid power tariff;
  • Project to be delivered in the first half of 2019.

Northern Oil's Advanced Biofuel Refinery near Gladstone, is currently operating to convert several waste streams into renewable crude, before refining it into 100% certified renewable fuel.  The Advanced Biofuels Refinery, supported by the Australian Government, Queensland Government and ARENA (Australian Renewable Energy Agency), is a world first and within its operation, will require large volumes of industrially stable, renewable biohydrogen to support the refining process.

Northern Oil, is developing a new hydrogen generation technology to complement its refining process.  The technology utilises Steam Over Iron Reduction and Chemical Looping processes to deliver cheaper and more efficient hydrogen than conventional Steam Methane Reformation ("SMR").  Northern Oil is building a large industrial scale pilot plant where surplus hydrogen generated from the system is to be made available for consumption within a fuel cell. 

In October 2017, Southern Oil and AFC Energy entered into a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding outlining the intention to collaborate in the assessment of opportunities for the integration of an AFC Energy fuel cell system into Southern Oil's refining process.

Through this collaboration, Southern Oil has today placed an order with AFC Energy for a hydrogen power generation unit utilising AFC Energy's proprietary fuel cell system that will enable the supply of clean power back into the refining process. 

AFC Energy will, subject to final agreement on all commercial terms, sell and lease components of its generation system for an undisclosed sum, reflecting the capital cost of the balance of plant and lease fees towards the cost of the fuel cell electrodes.  The power generated, expected to be between 200kW and 400kW in capacity (dependent upon the final volume of hydrogen made available from the refinery), is expected to be at a lower cost than with that of existing regional grid tariffs in Queensland, Australia.

AFC Energy, following receipt of a non-refundable deposit within 5 business days of the offer, shall commence a brief engineering study to confirm the system sizing and logistics for integration of the hydrogen power generation unit fuel cell system into the refinery.  This exercise will allow finalisation of the AFC Energy system design capacity and its final system costings, following which a binding sales and lease agreement is expected to be entered into.   

The AFC Energy fuel cell system is expected to be delivered to Northern Oil's Gladstone facility in the first half of 2019. 

Tim Rose, Southern Oil's Chief Executive Officer, said: "Southern Oil has at its heart a desire to develop new and innovative ways of generating clean fuels for Australia's future. The placement of today's order with AFC Energy for one of its hydrogen power generation units is the next phase of our commitment to a green and clean future through the generation of clean power from our surplus hydrogen streams.  The potential to drive our renewable refinery increasingly off grid and towards green power consumption is a key driver for today's order and we look forwards to working closely with AFC Energy in delivering a successful outcome for this project. In developing the Gladstone Advanced Biofuels Pilot Plant over the last three years, Southern Oil, has benchmarked cutting edge renewable technologies from around the world. In my mind, AFC Energy's Alkaline Fuel Cell has great potential."

Adam Bond, AFC Energy's Chief Executive Officer, said: "With a global estimated 100,000MWe of hydrogen vented to atmosphere from industry each year, I am particularly delighted to confirm AFC Energy's strategic collaboration with Southern Oil, a highly respected and entrepreneurial Australian clean fuels refiner with a strong track record of delivery.  The order received for the Company's fuel cell system reflects the first stages of a growing pipeline of commercial fuel cell projects in country and validates the opportunities we believe to be emerging in the Australian hydrogen market.  Today's order from Southern Oil is a strong validation of the progression AFC Energy has made over the past few years and provides a strong cornerstone in the Company's commercialisation activities that are well underway."

For further information, please contact:

AFC Energy plc
Adam Bond (Chief Executive Officer)
+44 (0) 20 3697 1209

Cantor Fitzgerald Europe - Nominated Adviser and Joint Broker
David Foreman
Richard Salmond
+44 (0) 20 7894 7000

M C Peat & Co LLP - Joint Broker
Charlie Peat
+44 (0) 20 7104 2334

Lionsgate Communications - Public Relations
Jonathan Charles
+44 (0) 20 3697 1209

About AFC Energy

AFC Energy plc has developed and successfully demonstrated an alkaline fuel cell system, which converts hydrogen into "clean" electricity. AFC Energy's key project POWER-UP demonstrated the world's largest operational alkaline fuel cell system at Air Products' industrial gas plant in Stade, Germany.  The Company is now building upon an already established pipeline of commercial opportunities and driving the findings from the development phase of the technology into a technically optimised and commercially relevant fuel cell system.  For further information, please visit our website:

About Southern Oil

Southern Oil is a privately owned Australian company operating two waste oil refinery facilities in Wagga Wagga (NSW) and Gladstone (QLD).  Each day these refineries take in around 420,000 litres of waste lube oil that would otherwise be burnt or dumped.

The development of world leading processes in waste oil refining has led to investments into, and the opening of, Australia's first Advanced Biofuels Laboratory and Biofuels Pilot Plant in Gladstone, Queensland.

Southern Oil are testing renewable technologies from around the world to produce renewable crude, bio-hydrogen and 100 per cent renewable drop in fuels.  For further information, please visit Southern Oil's website: