World’s first hydrogen tanker to ship test cargo to Japan from Australia


MELBOURNE, Jan 21 (Reuters) – A Japanese-Australian firm producing hydrogen from lignite is set to begin loading its first cargo onto the world’s first liquid hydrogen carrier on Friday in a test delayed by nearly a month. one year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Japanese-built Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI)-built Suiso Frontier (7012.T) arrived in Australia this week from Kobe, following a journey longer than the planned 16 days as the ship dodged bad weather and rough seas, said a Hydrogen Energy spokesman. Supply Chain (HESC). The ship is due to return to Japan in about a week.

Led by KHI, HESC is a 500 million Australian dollars ($360 million) coal-to-hydrogen project backed by Japan and Australia as a way to switch to cleaner energy and reduce carbon emissions .

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Hydrogen, seen as a pathway to decarbonising industries that rely on coal, gas and oil, is key to Japan’s goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050. Australia aims to become a major exporter of this fuel.

The Australian government on Friday committed an additional AU$7.5 million for HESC’s AU$184 million pre-commercialization phase, and AU$20 million to test a project to capture and store the released carbon dioxide. in the process of converting coal into hydrogen to create a carbon neutral product. .

Last year, HESC began extracting 70kg of hydrogen per day from lignite in the Latrobe Valley, about 135km (84 miles) east of Melbourne, where lignite mines have long powered some of the Australia’s dirtiest power stations.

Hydrogen is produced by reacting coal with oxygen and steam under high pressure and heat. It is then trucked to a port site where it is cooled to minus 253 degrees Celsius (minus 423 degrees Fahrenheit), which liquefies it for export.

The partners aim to produce up to 225,000 tonnes of hydrogen per year.

They will have to make a final investment decision by 2025, with Australia racing against countries in the Middle East and elsewhere to produce carbon-neutral hydrogen, said Jeremy Stone, director of J- Power, one of HESC’s partners.

Project partners include Japan’s Electric Power Development Co (9513.T), Iwatani Corp, Marubeni Corp, Sumitomo Corp (8053.T) and Australia’s AGL Energy Ltd, whose mine supplies lignite.

($1 = 1.3906 Australian dollars)

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Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Christian Schmollinger

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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