Australia explores potential for hydrogen export to Japan

Hydrogen economy needs to be untangles to mature
Image: akitada31 from Pixabay

Australian company Stanwell Corporation has partnered with Japanese hydrogen supplier Iwatani Corporation on a study assessing Australia’s ability to export hydrogen to Japan and help the Asian country to meet its anticipated growth in demand.

The AUS$10.4 million (US$7.5 million) feasibility study launched by the two companies has secured AUS$2.17 million (US$1.57 million) from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.

Other parties that are providing financial support for the study include; Kansai Electric Power Corporation, Marubeni Corporation, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, APA Group, and the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry.

The study is being conducted in Gladstone, Queensland, to explore the potential of developing an electrolyser that will produce 36,500 tonnes of green hydrogen per annum and its potential to supply Japan by 2026.

Stanwell and Iwatani plan to expand the plant’s capacity to 328,500 tonnes per annum by 2031 and transport the hydrogen in liquid form using shipping vessels.

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Today, the global deployment of hydrogen is being limited by the lack of production, storage, and transportation infrastructure and the high cost associated with developing electrolysers.

However, Australia has the potential to address this with its existing infrastructure and experience within the hydrogen segment. Australia is close to key emerging hydrogen import markets in Asia with established trade relationships, and has an abundance of renewable energy resources that can be used for green hydrogen production.

Since the release of Australia’s National Hydrogen Strategy by the Council of Australian Government’s (COAG) Energy Council in November 2019, the Australian Government has been advancing international collaborations, undertaking national coordination and supporting priority industry projects to grow a clean, innovative, safe and competitive hydrogen industry.

In January 2020, the Australian and Japanese governments signed a Joint Statement of Cooperation on Hydrogen and Fuel Cells. In June of this year, the governments also announced the Japan-Australia Partnership on Decarbonisation through Technology, recognising their shared ambition to accelerate the development and commercialisation of low and zero-emissions technologies.

ARENA CEO Darren Miller, said: “Stanwell’s study presents a significant opportunity to accelerate the development of export opportunities for renewable hydrogen in Australia and to work with a highly credible consortium from Japan that has the potential to deliver a large scale export project.”

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