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ASX-listed Iron Road will proceed with an expression of interest (EoI) process for its Cape Hardy green hydrogen hub, after its market-sounding process proved successful.

The company on Wednesday said that a shortlist of ten domestic and international green hydrogen proponents have requested to partake in the formal EoI process, with these parties primarily comprising globally significant players in the power generation business and emerging energy transition groups.

The competitive EoI phase is targeted to close during the fourth quarter of 2022, with the successful proponent or consortium of proponents expected to enter preliminary commercial arrangements with Iron Road.

“Iron Road is very pleased with the market sounding outcomes facilitated jointly with WSP Australia. Encouragingly, several respondents made similar observations; to ultimately produce and export green hydrogen at scale and at an internationally competitive price, nearby access to excellent renewable energy resources, favourable land and marine conditions, including sustainable desalination potential is a prerequisite. The Eyre Peninsula and Cape Hardy, specifically, meet all these key requirements,” said Iron Road CEO Larry Ingle.

“In addition to the strategic physical attributes of Cape Hardy, Iron Road has primary development approval for the port site as a high-grade iron concentrate and multi-commodity export facility. The Central Eyre iron project (CEIP), including the proposed logistics chain, may ultimately provide offtake for hydrogen and derivative products. In addition, value-adding opportunities such as green pellet and/or green steel production would also benefit from a longer-term hydrogen development at Cape Hardy.

“The company’s key focus continues to centre on patient and productive CEIP engagement with potential strategic partners. Proposals that offer shareholders value with respect to the quality and advanced status of the company’s asset base will continue to be evaluated. A well understood feature of the high barriers-to-entry iron-ore industry, is the scarcity of credibly advanced, high product grade greenfield development opportunities globally,” said Ingle.

The South Australian government previously identified Cape Hardy as one of three hubs for green hydrogen production, liquefaction or conversion, water desalination, storage and export, and has selected seven short-listed projects for converting the state-owned site at Port Bonython, in the Upper Spencer Gulf, into an export hub for green and blue hydrogen.