The world’s first liquified hydrogen carrier Suiso Frontier has set sail from Australia to Japan with her first LH2 shipment.
Prior to this, last December, Suiso Frontier has started her voyage from Japan to pick up the first LH2 cargo in Australia. The vessel then arrived at Victoria’s Port of Hastings at the end of January.
This is a major milestone in the A$500 million ($355 million) Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC) pilot project. The project is the first in the world to extract, liquefy and transport LH2 by sea to an international market.
The Suiso Frontier will transport the super-cooled LH2 from Port Hastings to Kobe, Japan. The terminal Kobe LH2 Terminal “Hy touch Kobe” facilitates a 2,500 m3 volume spherical liquefied hydrogen storage tank that specializes in reducing heat transfer. The terminal features a loading arm system specially designed for transferring liquefied hydrogen between land-based facilities and ships.
Australia is investing around $1 billion into the development of its hydrogen industry. This also includes $329.5 million to develop clean hydrogen industrial hubs in regional Australia.
In addition, the country has launched the $106.50 million Australian Clean Hydrogen Trade Program. The program will support Australian-based hydrogen supply chain projects that secure overseas public or private sector investment. The first round of the program will specifically focus on the export of clean hydrogen to Japan under the Japan-Australia Partnership on Decarbonization through Technology.
The collaboration to reach the same net-zero emission target
The HESC project involves a consortium of energy and infrastructure companies from Australia and Japan. These include:
- Kawasaki Heavy Industries
- Iwatani Corporation
- Marubeni Corporation
- Sumitomo Corporation
The Australian, Japanese and Victorian governments also supported the project. Moreover, Austrade has supported the HESC project since 2011 and will continue to support it as it grows
The consortium built a hydrogen production plant at AGL’s Loy Yang site in the Latrobe Valley. The plant produced 99.99 per cent pure hydrogen using brown coal and biomass. After that, the hydrogen was moved to Hastings and cooled to minus 253 degrees. It was then liquified to less than 800 times its gaseous volume to create LH2.
“The HESC project has the potential to become a major source of clean energy. It will help Australia and Japan both reach our goals of net zero emissions by 2050,” said minister Angus Taylor.
Over the next two years, the project partners will research and develop the technical and operational requirements for a commercial-scale project.
Finally, the HESC will produce an estimated 225,000 tonnes of CO2-neutral liquefied hydrogen. Therefore, this would help reduce global emissions by around 1.8 million tonnes per year.
To clarify, Japanese shipbuilder Kawasaki Heavy Industries built the Suiso Frontier in 2020 under the CO2-free HySTRA membership. KHI, Iwatani, Shell, and Electric Power Development joined together under HySTRA to promote hydrogen as a fuel source.