Sydney – The world’s first custom-built liquid hydrogen carrier, built by a Japanese company, arrived in Australia on Friday as part of a project to create liquid hydrogen from Australian lignite and ship it to Japan.
Suiso Frontier liquid hydrogen vessel built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. has docked at the port of Hastings located southeast of Melbourne.
It will transport hydrogen to Japan as part of a project between the two countries and carried out by a consortium of companies from Australia and Japan, including the Australian company AGL Energy Ltd. and Japanese companies Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Iwatani Corp.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the shipment of liquid hydrogen, which is part of the project called the Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain, is the start of a major new energy export industry for Australia.
“The HESC project puts Australia at the forefront of the global energy transition to lower emissions through clean hydrogen, which is the fuel of the future,” Morrison said in a statement, adding that the project is key to the two countries’ hydrogen industries.
The project involves steaming lignite from the Latrobe Valley in the southeastern state of Victoria under high heat to create hydrogen.
The gas is transported about 160 kilometers west to the port of Hastings, where it is cooled to minus 253 Celsius and converted into a liquid, reducing its volume to 1/800 of the original gas, ready to be transported to Japan.
It is hoped that the hydrogen, which produces water as an emission only when used as a fuel, can be used for electric fuel cell cars and as an alternative to natural gas, among other uses.
Angus Taylor, the Australian Minister for Industry, Energy and Emission Reduction, also praised the arrival of the airline, saying the project would help Australia and Japan reach their zero-emission targets by 2050.
Later in the week, Suiso Frontier travels to Kobe. It is scheduled to arrive in mid-February or later.
To support the pre-commercialization phase of the project, the Australian Government said it would provide 7.5 million Australian dollars (approximately ¥ 614 million). Once full commercial production is realized, the project will produce 225,000 tons of hydrogen, which will help reduce global carbon dioxide emissions by about 1.8 million tons per year, the government said.
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