Japan firms to export liquid hydrogen from Australia

Japan firms to export liquid hydrogen from Australia

An Australian joint venture involving J-Power and Sumitomo Corporation (JPSC JV) has been selected as the preferred hydrogen provider to Japan Suiso Energy (JSE).

The clean hydrogen gas will be produced in Gippsland, Victoria and JSE will liquify the hydrogen for export to Japan.

The JV will produce the clean hydrogen, extracted from Latrobe Valley coal with CO2 capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS). J-Power successfully produced 99.999% pure hydrogen gas, extracted from Latrobe Valley coal, as part of the Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC) Pilot Project, which claims a ‘world first’ in the liquid hydrogen supply chain sector by delivering hydrogen at the Port of Kobe in Japan in February 2022.

Jeremy Stone, Non-Executive Director of J-Power Latrobe Valley, said; “Building on the success of Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC) and J-Power’s 166MW Osaki CoolGen project, we are excited to be one step closer to making commercial scale hydrogen production in Victoria a reality. This is a major milestone and a recognition of Gippsland’s unique ability to help reduce global CO2 emissions through the reliable production of large quantities of cost competitive and clean hydrogen.”

The Latrobe Valley hydrogen production facility will benefit from the local skilled workforce, existing energy infrastructure and resources. The project will take advantage of one of several long-term CO2 storage solutions, including using the depleted oil and gas reservoirs in Bass Strait for the CO2 emissions that cannot be utilised.

Dr. Eiichi Harada, Japan Suiso Energy CEO, said it has received a commitment of JPY220bn (AUD$2.35bn) from the Japanese Government’s Green Innovation Fund to further progress this opportunity.

He said, “We look forward to working with the JV and the Victorian, Australian and Japanese governments to achieve the significant economic and emission reduction benefits that a commercial scale clean hydrogen project will deliver.”

The JPSC JV will initially produce between 30,000 to 40,000 tpa of gaseous clean hydrogen. A future potential production of 225,000tpa, would reduce about 1.8m tpa of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere. Subject to commercial agreements and meeting the required environmental permits and approvals, it is expected hydrogen production will commence in the late 2020s.

Stone said there is significant domestic interest in a reliable source of locally produced, cost competitive clean hydrogen.

He said, “Now we have countries establishing the definition of ‘clean hydrogen’, based on carbon intensity, we are seeing an opening of trade, based on credible and transparent CO2 reduction numbers, at various price points. We are expecting further offtake agreements for hydrogen, that can be used by a wide range of businesses and industrial processes, including the production of ammonia, fertiliser and methanol.”

In another sign of J-Power’s renewables drive, the Shimamaki Wind Farm recently began commercial operations. Total equity output of
the seven sites in Hokkaido Prefecture in operation or under construction now totals 154,450kW.

Chevron New Energies (Chevron) and JERA Co. recently signed an MoU that provides a framework for their collaboration on carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects located in the United States and Australia. The MoU has the potential to expand the companies’ liquid natural gas (LNG) relationship and advance lower carbon solutions.

Australia is targeting over 500,000 tonnes of hydrogen to East Asia by 2030, worth an estimated A$2.2bn.

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