Australia sends the world’s first shipment of liquefied hydrogen to Japan.

This is a major milestone in the AU$500 million Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC) pilot project. The project is the first in the world to extract, liquefy and transport liquid hydrogen by sea to an international market.

The Suiso Frontier will transport supercooled liquid hydrogen from Port Hastings in Victoria to Kobe. The 116-meter vessel is the world’s first purpose-built liquefied hydrogen carrier.

An Australia-Japan collaboration

The HESC project involved a consortium of leading energy and infrastructure companies from Australia and Japan. They include:

  • Kawasaki Heavy Industries
  • J-Power
  • Iwatani Society
  • Marubeni Company
  • Sumitomo Company
  • AGL

The Australian, Japanese and Victorian governments also supported the project.

The consortium has built a hydrogen production plant at AGL’s Loy Yang site in the Latrobe Valley. The plant produced 99.99% pure hydrogen from lignite and biomass. The hydrogen was trucked to Hastings and cooled to minus 253 degrees. It was then liquefied to less than 800 times its gaseous volume to create liquefied hydrogen.

“The HESC project… cements Australia’s position as a world leader in hydrogen,” said Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor.

“The HESC project has the potential to become a major source of clean energy. This will help Australia and Japan reach our net zero emissions targets by 2050.”

Towards marketing

Over the next two years, project partners will research and develop the technical and operational requirements for a commercial-scale project.

If reached on a commercial scale, the HESC would produce approximately 225,000 tonnes of carbon-neutral liquefied hydrogen. This would help reduce global emissions by around 1.8 million tonnes per year. That’s equivalent to the emissions of 350,000 gasoline-powered cars.

Australia’s support for clean hydrogen

Australia is investing over A$1.3 billion to accelerate the development of its hydrogen industry. This includes A$464 million to develop clean hydrogen industrial centers in the Australian region.

He also launched Australia’s AU$150 million Clean Hydrogen Trading Scheme. The program will support Australian-based hydrogen supply chain projects that secure overseas public or private sector investment. The first cycle of the program will focus on exporting clean hydrogen to Japan as part of the Japan-Australia Partnership on Decarbonization through Technology.

Austrade supports the hydrogen sector

Austrade has supported the HESC project since 2011. Advisors have brought together Japanese and Australian governments and businesses to take the project from study to export.

This includes helping Japanese companies establish themselves in Australia. Austrade advisers helped introduce stakeholders, assisted with site selection and provided information on grants and government support.

Austrade looks forward to supporting the HESC project as it grows. Austrade supports the Australian hydrogen industry by promoting Australia as a world-class destination for clean hydrogen investment and as a future global supplier.

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