Kawasaki Heavy Industries and its Melbourne-based subsidiary Hydrogen Engineering Australia announced that construction has commenced on a hydrogen liquefaction and loading terminal as part of the $500 million Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC) pilot project at the Port of Hastings, Victoria.
This half-a-billion dollar development is supported by the Australian and Victorian Government, who have invested $50 million each, together with the Japanese Government and industry.
“Australia is well placed to become a global leader in hydrogen production and this pilot project is a crucial step towards making this vision a reality.
“This project promises to be of huge benefit to both nations and particularly the state of Victoria, which has the opportunity to develop an alternative and value-adding use of its abundant brown coal reserves in the Latrobe Valley,” Minister for Resources and North Australia Matt Canavan said.
This project will include the construction and mechanical installation of the liquefaction and storage facilities. Kawasaki will be utilising its experiences and know-how from past projects for the safe and on-time delivery of HESC.
The terminal is set to convert hydrogen gas from Latrobe Valley-sourced brown coal into liquefied hydrogen, which will then be stored and loaded on a specialised marine carrier for transport to Japan.
The process of converting coal into gas will include exposing the coal to oxygen under high pressures and temperature for gas composed of carbon monoxide and hydrogen to form.
“This pilot project is the first step in creating a commercial scale hydrogen supply chain which could lead to billions of dollars in export earnings for Australia and help Japan meet its strategic energy targets for 2030 and beyond.
“As global demand for hydrogen continues to grow, strategic investments such as this one have the potential to turn Australia into a major global exporter of hydrogen, particularly to countries such as Japan and South Korea,” Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham said.
Hydrogen production under the pilot phase will be undertaken at the AGL Loy Yang Complex in the Latrobe Valley.
HESC is being developed by a consortium comprised of Japanese and Australian infrastructure companies, including Electric Power Development Co, Ltd (J-Power), J-Power Latrobe Valley Pty Ltd (JPLV), Iwatani Corporation, Marubeni Corporation and AGL Loy Yang Pty Ltd.
“This new facility that we are building here at Western Port will be the foundation of a potential, new and exciting hydrogen export industry for Australia.
“Delivering clean hydrogen to the world for the benefit of our environment is a goal we share deeply and we look forward to achieving,” Kawasaki Heavy Industries Global Chair Shigeru Murayama said.
Throughout the life of the project, Kawasaki and Hydrogen Engineering Australia will continue working with the local community to share information regarding HESC and to respond to community feedback.
The pilot project is anticipated to support up to 400 jobs across the State’s supply chain and thousands more to be created once it’s decided to progress HESC into commercial production.
HESC is expected to begin operations within 2020 to 2021.
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