Australia, Japan commit to hydrogen cooperation

Photo: AGL Loy Yang Complex

Australia and Japan will cooperate to deploy hydrogen power, after signing a joint statement in Melbourne on Friday.

“Australia is building a hydrogen production base to foster domestic growth and meet future export demand in Japan and the region,” Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan said.

Australia and Japan have a history of energy and resource trade and, as such, are well placed to maximise the opportunities presented by hydrogen, according to Canavan who signed the agreement alongside Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Hiroshi Kajiyama.

The nations “recognise that hydrogen is a key contributor to reducing emissions, especially when produced from renewable energy or fossil fuels combined with Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS),” Canavan said.

As part of the National Hydrogen Strategy, the Australian government committed $370 million in November 2019 towards developing the technology to extract and utilise hydrogen.

“Scenarios developed for the National Hydrogen Strategy indicate an Australian hydrogen industry could generate about 8,000 jobs and about $11 billion a year in GDP by 2050.”

As global demand for hydrogen continues to grow, so too does Australia’s potential as a major global exporter of hydrogen, according to Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham.

The statement incites the two nations to work closer on national hydrogen strategies and to shape global hydrogen market regulations.

Australia and Japan continue to make progress towards establishing the world’s first international liquid hydrogen supply chain, as part of the Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC) project in Victoria.

The HESC is a pilot project  from Victoria’s Latrobe Valley, at the at the AGL Loy Yang Complex. It is intended to establish an integrated commercial-scale hydrogen supply chain encompassing production, transportation and storage, with the goal of delivering liquefied hydrogen to Japan.

During the pilot phase, which will span one year by 2021, operations will leverage existing coal gasification technologies adapted specifically for Victorian brown coal.

The hydrogen will be transported to a liquefaction and loading terminal at the Port of Hastings. Once converted to liquid, it will be shipped using a world-first, innovative liquefied hydrogen carrier, purpose-built for hydrogen transport.

The project will be the first initiative to transport mass quantities of hydrogen across open waters. The decision to proceed to a commercial phase will be made in the 2020s with operations targeted in the 2030.