Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) and other Japan-based firms said that a pilot project to transport hydrogen produced from brown coal in Australia to Japan in the world’s first liquefied hydrogen tanker had proven technically feasible.
he A$500 million ($364 million) project, led by KHI and backed by the governments of Japan and Australia, aims to cut carbon emissions, and was originally due to ship its first cargo a year ago but was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Electric Power Development (J-Power) is in charge of producing the project’s hydrogen, and said that it has tested using biomass with coal to help offset CO2 emissions while it aims to implement carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS) in the future to make hydrogen that is completely CO2-free.
The KHI-built Suiso Frontier tanker eventually left Australia this year on January 25 and arrived in Kobe, Japan, a month later, adding that it had unloaded its cargo of hydrogen by the end of February.
The demonstration covered from production and transport to loading and storage proved that the technological foundations have been laid for the future use of hydrogen as an energy source in the same way as liquefied natural gas (LNG)
Motohiko Nishimura, KHI’s executive officer, told reporters.
KHI now aims to replicate its success as a major LNG tanker producer with hydrogen, which is seen as vital to Japan to decarbonise industries that rely on coal, gas and oil and to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, while Australia aims to become a major exporter of the fuel.
Equipment and facilities that can be operated safely is also a game-changing technology for the clean energy business
KHI’s Nishimura said.
In addition to KHI and J-Power, the consortium includes Shell’s Japanese unit, Iwatani Corp, Marubeni, Eneos Holdings and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha. Moreover, the partners did not disclose a cost structure for the project, saying it was aimed at proving feasibility and safety.
KHI also aims to build a much larger hydrogen vessel in mid-2020s and to commercialize the business in the early 2030s.