Herbert Smith Freehills has advised bp on its investment in the proposed Asian Renewable Energy Hub. Planning to acquire a 40.5 percent share, bp will also operate the project based in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.
The Asian Renewable Energy Hub is anticipated to include onshore wind and solar power, potentially producing up to 26 gigawatts of capacity across multiple phases. Once fully operational, the Asian Renewable Energy Hub could be one of the largest green hydrogen production facilities in the world with an expected annual output of 1.6 million tonnes of green hydrogen or 9 million tonnes of green ammonia each year.
The transaction team was led by partner and Head of Energy (Australia) Nick Baker, with support from partners Neena Aynsley (Corporate Energy), Alison Dodd (Projects), Melanie Debenham (Environment and Planning), David Hugo (Real Estate), Linda Evans (CRT), London-based Energy partners Sarah Pollock and Laura Hulett, senior associates Christina Wheeler and Michael D’Agostino, and solicitors Kate Strachan and Sarah-Anne Butler.
bp’s deal team was led by Ian Spafford, Andy Waters, Nick Shaw, Sally Prickett, Daniel Saville and Steve Delic.
Nick Baker said, “We’re delighted to have supported bp in this significant advancement of its hydrogen and renewables strategy. There is no question that this is a demonstration of the ambitious steps needed to safeguard Australia’s energy future. We congratulate bp and its co-shareholders on this important milestone."
This deal is another example of Herbert Smith Freehills’ market-leading transactional work in the energy sector. Other recent examples include advising bp on its move into offshore wind in partnership with Equinor and the development of its Kwinana hub, Brookfield and others on their acquisition of Ausnet Limited, and International Power (Australia) Holdings Pty Limited (a joint venture between ENGIE and Mitsui trading as ENGIE Australia & New Zealand) on its establishment of the Australian Renewable Energy Trust (“ARET”), and the sell-down of a 75% stake in ARET to the Infrastructure Capital Group-managed Australian Renewables Income Fund.