Japan’s big bet on hydrogen energy

Japan is backing hydrogen energy as a means of ending the country’s energy security crisis since Fukushima.

A consortium of companies plans to launch what it says is world’s first hydrogen supply chain demonstration project, part of the country’s goal of becoming a “hydrogen society”.

The relatively small-scale project aims to import the super-clean energy source from 2020, the consortium companies said in a statement on Thursday.
Periodic table hydrogen symbol
There are still problems with hydrogen as an energy source due to costs and technical difficulties but Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is pushing his vision of vehicles, houses and power stations using hydrogen to compensate for a reduction in nuclear production.

Chiyoda Corp, Mitsubishi Corp, Mitsui & Co and Nippon Yusen KK are to take part in the project to build a plant to generate liquid hydrogen in Brunei and a plant in Kawasaki, near Tokyo, to process cargoes back into gas.

Up to 210 tonnes of hydrogen will be imported to Japan in liquid form in 2020, they said. Hydrogen gas extracted from the liquid will be used as feedstock at a gas-fired power plant operated by a unit of oil refiner Showa Shell Sekiyu KK.

Two thirds of the multimillion costs associated with the project will be subsidized by the Japanese government, a consortium official said.à‚ 

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