Historic arrival of the first liquid hydrogen carrier in Australia

Historic arrival of the first liquid hydrogen carrier in Australia

AJBCC represented at Event to mark the historic arrival of the first liquid hydrogen carrier in Australia

On 21 January, AJBCC Treasurer Doug Bartley attended an event marking the arrival of the first ship designed to carry liquid hydrogen, and recognising the successful completion of a key stage in the Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC) pilot project in Australia. The Suiso Frontier berthed in the Port of Hastings to load the liquid hydrogen for the return voyage to Kobe, a voyage expected to take around two weeks.

Master of ceremonies for the event was Alan Finkel, Special Adviser to the Australian Government on Low Emissions Technology. Dr Finkel coordinated presentations from the many contributors whose close collaboration was required to ensure the successful outcome of the project. Due to the current limitations on international travel, a number of the presentations from the Japanese government and corporations were made via recorded videos.

Representing the Australian government were the Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor, the Minister for Resources and Water Keith Pitt, and Assistant Minister Tim Wilson. The Victorian government was represented by Treasurer Tim Pallas. All acknowledged the commitment and perseverance of the parties in achieving the milestone being celebrated on this day.

The HESC project has required high levels of technical innovation and coordination as it seeks to address a range of technical challenges, including the mixing of Latrobe Valley coal and biomass, capturing and storing CO2 emissions, trucking the hydrogen gas to Hastings, cooling the gas to -253 degrees so that it would be liquefied to fill less than 1/800 of its gaseous volume for loading onto the highly insulated storage containers on Suiso Frontier. By demonstrating the feasibility of long-distance transportation of liquefied hydrogen, the project is addressing a crucial part of the development of international supply chains for the energy carrier.

The HESC Project Partners, in addition to the Australian and Victorian governments and the Japanese government via the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organisation (NEDO) are Kawasaki Heavy, J-Power, Iwatani Corp, Marubeni Corp, AGL, Sumitomo Corp and Hydrogen Engineering Aust (HEA).  All of these organisations were represented at the 21 January event as well as business, State and local government and local community representatives.

The HESC project will now move into a pre-commercialisation phase running until June 2023. This will involve developing technical, financial and community models for a commercial scale project.  Congratulations to all involved!