Completed sea trial of the world’s first liquefied hydrogen carrier

Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd (KHI) conducted a successful world-first sea trial of the liquefied hydrogen carrier SUISO FRONTIER between the 14th and 15th of October.

KHI has been making steady progress to hand the vessel over to the CO2-free Hydrogen Energy Supply-chain Technology Research Association (HySTRA) and deliver a technology demonstration to establish an international hydrogen energy supply chain between Japan and Australia.

Read more about the SUISO FRONTIER and its importance to the HESC project here.

Webinar: How the Latrobe Valley can play a role in Australia’s hydrogen future

Australia’s emerging hydrogen industry is already showing promising signs of success and the Latrobe Valley is at the heart of this, thanks to the HESC Pilot Project.

Join this webinar to learn about the HESC Project’s progress since being launched in 2018 and understand how the Latrobe Valley can be at the forefront of the national energy transition to lower emissions via the fuel of the future, clean hydrogen. Community members will have the opportunity to ask all panellists questions.

Speaking at this webinar is:

  • Dr Patrick Hartley, Leader of CSIRO’s Hydrogen Mission
  • Jeremy Stone, Director of J-Power Latrobe Valley
  • Ian Filby, Project Director of the CarbonNet Project
  • Hirofumi Kawazoe, General Manager of Hydrogen Engineering Australia Pty Ltd
  • Jane Oakley, Chief Executive Officer of Committee for Gippsland

To attend the 10AM-11AM AEDT session (Patrick Hartley will only be speaking at 10AM) register here
To attend the 6PM-7PM AEDT session register here

Global status of CCS

Image Credit: Global CCS Institute

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is one of five priority low emissions technologies in the Australian Government’s First Low Emissions Technology Statement, because its widespread deployment will underpin new low emissions industries (including hydrogen) and provide a potential decarbonisation pathway for hard-to-abate industries.

CCS has been in commercial operation around the world for decades, in a wide variety of applications including power generation, industry and hydrogen production.

According to most recent data from the Global CCS Institute, there are now 58 CCS facilities in various stages of development globally. These include 20 in operation, three under construction, and 35 in various stages of development with an estimated combined capture capacity of 127 million tonnes of CO2 per annum.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) emphasises carbon capture as a key technology for emission reductions and estimates that roughly 2,000 CCS facilities are necessary by 2050, to limit global warming. An interactive map of CCS facilities around the globe can be found via the Global CCS Institute, here.

Among the facilities featured is one off the northwest coast of Western Australia. Here lies the Gorgon natural gas facility and the site of the largest dedicated geological storage CCS facility in the world. The Project is not yet at full capacity but plans to inject and permanently store between 3.4 and 4 million tonnes of CO2 each year. This will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the Gorgon Project by approximately 40 percent.

In February this year, the Gorgon Project passed the milestone of successfully capturing and storing one million tonnes of CO2 since commencing operations.

The Snøhvit CO2 Storage facilities is in the Barents Sea, offshore from Norway. The CO2 is captured at an LNG facility on the island of Melkøya, northern Norway and transported via pipeline back to the Snøhvit field offshore where it is injected into an offshore storage reservoir. The facility is designed to capture 0.7 million tonnes per year of CO2 and more than 4 million tonnes of CO2 has been stored to date since 2008.

Closer to home in Victoria, the CO2CRC Otway Project has been operating for over 15 years and has injected over 80,000 tonnes of CO2 as a demonstration site. It conducts extensive research internationally and in Australia to develop and improve processes, reduce uncertainty and decrease the cost of CCS. Research at the Otway site also feeds into the CarbonNet project. The commercial phase of the Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC) project requires a CCS solution, which is what the CarbonNet project provides.

The Global CCS Institute
The Global CCS Institute database at 
Chevron Australia

Federation University researchers support HESC Pilot

Caption: Federation University, Image Credit Shishka Study Abroad

Federation University, in partnership with Australian Carbon Innovation, will analyse hydrogen production quality and performance of the gasification and refining plant in the Latrobe Valley as part of the Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC) Pilot.

The Hydrogen Production Evaluation Research Project will be delivered by researchers from Federation University’s Carbon Technology Centre who will work closely with J-POWER Latrobe Valley, which is designing, building and operating the hydrogen production facility.

Federation University Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research), Chris Hutchison said the partnership, “illustrates how Federation University’s regional campuses are ideally placed to support the growth of new Industries that will provide high value local employment for years to come”.

Researchers will assess samples of hydrogen produced from the pilot project, examine by-product composition, production efficiency and energy usage. Their analysis will help inform decision making on commercialising the HESC Project.

Australian Carbon Innovation Chief Executive Officer, Brian Davey, said: “This agreement is recognition that regional centres of higher learning such as Federation University, are able to provide world class research services to international companies that will help Gippsland transition to sustainable and low emission fuels for the future.”

Federation University and Australian Carbon Innovation’s work will build expertise and skills for a hydrogen future, a future with potential employment and economic development benefits to the local region and the nation.

“The HESC project offers a real opportunity for Latrobe Valley research agencies, universities, and technical firms to engage with and build knowledge and capacity in clean hydrogen production,” said Non-Executive Director of J-POWER LV, Jeremy Stone.

“A commercial-scale HESC Project would bring more innovation, technology and jobs as the region transition to a clean energy future.”

HESC playing part in shaping a hydrogen certification scheme

Australia is taking the lead in developing a Certificate of Origin for clean hydrogen and the Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC) Project is contributing to shaping these standards.

The scheme will cover emissions released in the atmosphere as a result of the hydrogen production process. It is likely to be domestic initially, with the ability to meet requirements of a global scheme in the future.   

Reliable emissions tracing is vital to ensure the Australian Government can track progress towards its 2015 Paris Agreement commitments, to limit global temperature increases by reducing national greenhouse gas emissions.

This tracing is also important so major importers of hydrogen can track progress toward their emissions reduction targets. 

General Manager for Hydrogen Engineering Australian, Hirofumi Kawazoe, explained how this is relevant to the potential commercial HESC Project.

“If the HESC Project proceeds to commercialisation, CCS technology will be used to make the hydrogen production process virtually CO2 emission-free,” said Mr Kawazoe.

“A Certificate of Origin would take this into account as it measures the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere.”

A commercial-scale HESC Project would in fact play a role in reducing CO2 emissions, and in turn contribute to the Australian Government’s progress towards Paris commitments.

“A commercial-scale HESC Project would produce up to 225,000 tonnes of hydrogen per year and if this was used for power generation it could reduce global CO2 emissions by some three million tonnes per year[i] – the equivalent of removing 600,000 cars off the road.”

The certification of hydrogen was a recommendation of the National Hydrogen Strategy prepared by Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel. Another reason a scheme is important is that it will avoid misunderstanding and provide consumers with transparency around the environmental impacts of the hydrogen, providing flexibility of being technology neutral.

The Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources states that ‘a hydrogen certification scheme is a standardised process of tracing and certifying where and how hydrogen is made, and the associated environmental impacts (for example, greenhouse gas emissions).’

HESC Project partners are part of a consultative group helping the department understand the most important high-level aspects of an international and/or domestic hydrogen certification scheme.

The HESC Project Partners identify three important features of hydrogen certification:

  1. A scheme should be technology neutral and inclusive, consider carbon-reduction activities and avoid resorting to terminology centred around different colours of hydrogen.
  2. A certification system, especially methodology for estimation of greenhouse gas emissions, should be transparent in approach and assumptions to build confidence.
  3. An international body would be best placed to promote a guarantee of origin scheme on a global scale.

Australia can play a leading role in shaping an international guarantee of origin scheme built for the global hydrogen market. HESC Project Partners welcome the opportunity to continue contributing to this consultative process.

More detail on the HESC Project Partner’s response to the hydrogen certification survey, which closed 22 June 2020, is available to read here.

[i] as referred to by the Japanese New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organisation (NEDO) in 2015.

Commissioning is underway at all project sites

The completed Latrobe Valley site

Each element in the Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC) Pilot supply chain is nearing operations stage. Site teams in Japan and Australia are working to finalise construction and carry out the all-important commissioning work, to ensure all systems and components are in perfect working order.

At the Latrobe Valley gasification and gas refining facility, construction concluded in early October and commissioning is well underway. This involves a range of activities, including filling and testing lines and tanks and confirming the electronics and control systems.

According to Non-Executive Director of J-POWER LV, Jeremy Stone, “as these important tests are almost complete, we expect the production of hydrogen gas from coal in the last quarter of 2020.”  

150 kilometres away in Hastings, the on-site construction office has been removed and plant assessments are also in progress.

A Helium Buffer Tank which will be used for liquefaction processing in Hastings

The main components of the hydrogen liquefier are being tested; the cold box with heat exchangers, the helium compressor, and the helium expansion turbine.

General Manager for Hydrogen Engineering Australia, Hirofumi Kawazoe explained the operation of these components.

“Pressurised hydrogen gas will be fed into the vacuum insulated cold box and pre-cooled. The gas is then heat-exchanged with liquefied helium, which is produced from a helium refrigeration cycle, turned into liquid and transferred to a storage container,” Mr Kawazoe said.

Thousands of kilometres away from both these sites, the Japanese Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), recently toured the HESC Pilot facilities in Kobe, Liquefied Hydrogen Storage and Unloading Terminal and the SUISO FRONTIER.

Hiroshi Kajiyama went onboard the SUISO FRONTIER, which will carry liquid hydrogen between Japan and Australia. Following the recent installation of the liquefied hydrogen storage tank, that will transfer liquefied hydrogen at -253 degrees Celsius, verification tests are underway.

The vessel will soon undergo assessment while doing domestic sea trials before setting off in 2021 to sail to Hastings.

Japanese hydrogen liquefaction expert comes to Hastings

Japanese hydrogen liquefaction expert comes to Hastings

Mr Hiroi at the HESC Project site in Hastings in September 2020

Shinichi Hiroi has only recently arrived in Australia but is looking forward to applying his technical expertise to the Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC) Project and is already enjoying life in Australia.

Mr Hiroi is Deputy Section Manager for the Technical and Engineering team with Iwatani Corporation, one of the project partners responsible for the Hydrogen Liquefaction and Loading Terminal in Hastings.

He has undertaken training at one of the three commercial liquefied hydrogen plants that Iwatani operates in Japan – bringing superlative expertise and experience to support the safety of operations in Hastings.

This deep understanding of the plant operations and equipment will be imparted to local HESC Project staff already working in Hastings.

The commencement of the HESC Pilot is significant for Mr Hiroi as he joined Iwatani Corporation to build a career centred around the fuel of the future, hydrogen. Iwatani has regarded hydrogen as the ultimate clean source of energy since 1941 and is a global leader in pursuing a hydrogen enabled future. 

“HESC is a world first project and once the pilot project is successful, I hope people will understand the possibilities of hydrogen. The success will trigger expansion for hydrogen projects worldwide and they will see how liquid hydrogen can be transported by ship all over the world,” Mr Hiroi said.

“Hydrogen is a large piece of a sustainable society, as it has the potential to be used as a sustainable energy,” he says.

Mr Hiroi is the only Iwatani staff member living in Victoria but is enjoying his time and can’t help but feel a twist of fate brought him here.

“When I was a university student 15 years ago in Japan, I had a part-time job at an Outback Steak House, which I travelled to on a bicycle designed and made by Kawasaki (another HESC Project Partner), so it is very funny to be in this situation now”.

“The country is so beautiful and big, and I can’t help loving all of it. Particularly Hastings. I saw a wild Koala in Hastings and thought to myself ‘I’m finally in Australia’.”

Mr Hiroi will live in Melbourne for the duration of the HESC pilot project, making necessary visits and safety inspections to Hastings.

Technology Investment Roadmap plots a course

HESC Project Partners welcome the Federal Government’s first Low Emissions Technology Statement released on the 22nd of September, and its endorsement of clean hydrogen as the fuel of the future.

Image credit:

As part of the Australian Government’s Technology Investment Roadmap, there is a commitment to bring down emissions while strengthening the economy by investing in technology development, including clean hydrogen and carbon capture and storage (CCS) as some of the best means to reduce emissions while benefitting the economy and creating jobs. The Project Partners also support enabling key agencies such as ARENA and the CEFC to contribute to these important technology ambitions.

Addressing the National Press Club, the Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, Angus Taylor said that the Federal Government’s plan has three focuses – lower emissions, lower costs and more jobs. He touted hydrogen and CCS as priority technologies, critical for public investment under a AUD $1.9 billion package to achieve these objectives. The HESC Project Partners particularly welcome the Minister’s emphasis on international cooperation for hydrogen market development and his praise of our project as a pioneer in hydrogen between Australia and Japan.

The world-first HESC Project, supported by the Japanese, Federal and Victorian Government’s, aims to produce clean hydrogen using Latrobe Valley coal. In the commercial phase of the project it will utilise a Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) solution, provided by the joint Federal and Victorian Governments’  CarbonNet Project. This is a viable and efficient low-carbon method of producing hydrogen at scale and will be a key contributor to an energy transition in Australia and the world.

The Roadmap, prepared with advice from a panel of industry leaders, investors and researchers chaired by Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel, is a path forward for creating a global hydrogen market with Australia at his centre as a producing powerhouse.

The HESC Project places Latrobe Valley and Victoria at the forefront of the national energy transition to lower emissions via the fuel of the future, clean hydrogen, and gears the region to become a global hydrogen export hub, in line with the Federal Government’s ambitions.

The HESC pilot operations begin in the last quarter of 2020, working towards creating a commercially viable hydrogen energy supply chain in line with the government objectives of hydrogen production and informed by technical feasibility, social licence to operate, market demand and other macroeconomic factors. The HESC Project has potential to be the cornerstone of Australia’s hydrogen future and a key contributor to global greenhouse gas

CarbonNet core gets hi-tech treatment

CarbonNet core in the CT scanner

The Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC) Project, alongside the CarbonNet Project, has the potential to assist in Victoria’s energy transition and the decarbonisation of the state’s industry and manufacturing base.

Currently, the CarbonNet Project is investigating the potential for establishing a world-class, large-scale, multi-user carbon capture and storage (CCS) network.

CarbonNet’s proposed carbon dioxide storage site in the offshore Gippsland Basin (in Bass Strait) is a very large dome-shaped geological structure, with many rock layers.

The porous layers of sandstone can act like a sponge to store the CO2, while layers of shale and coal form the barriers which will trap the CO2 – the same way oil and gas has been trapped in Bass Strait naturally for millions of years.

The site – Pelican – is large enough to store at least five million tonnes of CO2 per year for 25 years. That’s the equivalent of CO2 emissions from around one million cars every year.

Recently, rock from Pelican has been analysed in a world-class laboratory to ascertain if it has the storage capacity required. Early data indicates that reservoir quality is better than predicted.

To analyse the rock, a one-metre segment of core drilled from deep under the Pelican site is being analysed by a Computed Tomography (CT) scanner in Perth. The CT scanner uses x-rays to build up a three-dimensional image inside the core sample to assess the properties of the rock ahead of further testing.  It uses the same techniques as a medical CT scanner.

CT scanning is a non-destructive method and is typically run at the start of a core analysis project.  Scanning identifies geological features, sedimentary bedding and composition changes that are taken into consideration when designing the detailed core analysis project.

Rock core analyses from the Pelican site are expected to be complete in early 2021.

This article originally appeared on CarbonNet and has been repurposed with permission.

Construction presses on despite COVID-19 challenges

Construction of the Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC) Project’s Hastings site, where hydrogen will be liquefied, stored, and loaded onto a ship for export, has been completed. At the Latrobe Valley coal gasification and refining facility, the end of construction is imminent and commissioning is underway.

At both sites, 208 local engineers, tradespeople and apprentices are directly involved in construction.

In Latrobe Valley, where coal gasification and gas refining will take place, logistics delays caused by COVID-19 have been managed to minimise impacts on the building timeline.

“Despite the challenges, construction and commissioning is scheduled to be completed by the end of September”, said Non-Executive Director of J-POWER LV, Jeremy Stone.

The HESC Project site in Latrobe Valley

Electric Power Development Co., Ltd. (J-POWER) is designing, building and operating the Latrobe Valley facility.

Complex building and engineering works have been occurring not just in the Latrobe Valley but in Hastings too, where the construction of Australia’s first hydrogen liquefaction facility is now complete. With a footprint equivalent to one-quarter of an Australian Rules Football (AFL) field, the small site houses critical pieces of infrastructure for the HESC Project – the liquefier and liquefied hydrogen tank.

“These are significant milestones for HESC Project, and also for Australia in terms of becoming a leading country for hydrogen export in the future” said General Manager for Hydrogen Engineering Australia, Hirofumi Kawazoe.

HESC Project partner Kawasaki Heavy Industries has significant experience in the storage and transport of liquefied hydrogen. It built the storage tanks used to hold hydrogen rocket fuel at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Tanegashima Space Centre. This technology has been in use for more than 25 years.

In Japan, the HESC Project has achieved another major achievement recently with the completion of construction of its Kobe liquefied hydrogen storage and unloading terminal.

The terminal is the final component of the Project’s supply chain. The world’s first liquefied hydrogen carrier, SUISO FRONTIER, will transport its cargo from the Port of Hastings, to the Kobe terminal.

The HESC Project site in Hastings

With the demonstration of the HESC Project about to commence, it was recognised last month as a contributor to Australia and Japan’s COVID-19 recovery.

In a statement proceeding a meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Australian Prime Minister the Hon Scott Morrison MP on 9 July, 2020, the two world leaders acknowledged ongoing collaboration between the two nations on the world first HESC Project.

In a joint media release, it was stated: “The leaders highlighted their determination to support a robust economic recovery and rebuild more sustainable, inclusive and resilient economies. The leaders acknowledged energy transitions, including through the Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain Pilot project in Victoria, and implementation of the Memorandum of Cooperation on Carbon Recycling signed by ministers in 2019, will be part of the recovery strategy.”

A close look at the world`s first liquid hydrogen carrier

SUISO FRONTIER at Kobe terminal in Japan

Mass quantities of liquefied hydrogen have not been shipped across open waters before, but the newly built SUISO FRONTIER overcomes the challenges of transportation. The ship will play a key role in realising the HESC Project’s world-first demonstration of a hydrogen supply chain between Australia and Japan.

When hydrogen gas is liquefied, it becomes denser to the point of 1/800 of its original gas-state volume.

This highlight the benefits and challenges of transporting liquid hydrogen.

Over longer distances it is usually more cost-effective to transport hydrogen in liquid form, since a liquid hydrogen tank can hold substantially more hydrogen than a pressurised gas tank. However, preventing heat from turning the liquid hydrogen back into a gas – known as ‘boil off’ – presents unique challenges.

During the HESC Project, the 116-metre-long SUISO FRONTIER will make one trip between Australia and Japan every few months. On board will be a crew of no more than 25 people.

To prevent boil off during its journey, HESC project partner and shipbuilder Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. (KHI), developed specialised insulation technology.

The 1,250m3 storage tank is a world-leading and game-changing technological development likely to boost the global hydrogen economy.

It features a cryogenic storage element, a double-shell structure with vacuum insulation and is supported by high strength glass-fibre-reinforced plastic. It contains the liquefied hydrogen and keeps it at -253 degrees Celsius.

Much of the ship’s features are a progression of technology originally developed in 1981, when KHI became the first Asian company to manufacture a liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier.

Thirty years later, SUISO FRONTIER will play a pivotal role in realising the potential for the HESC Project to kick-start a new, global clean energy export industry with huge local economic benefits for both Australia and Japan.   

“Everyone on this project is working hard for the future of our planet.”

Ross Renna (left) and Hirofumi Kawazoe (right) at the HESC Project site in Hastings

Hirofumi Kawazoe is the General Manager for Hydrogen Engineering Australia (HEA) and the local representative for Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI). Between visits to the Port of Hastings, he shares his views on living in Australia and the exciting future of hydrogen.

Mr Kawazoe moved from Japan to Melbourne in 2018, overseeing and managing the Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC) project. While most recently working from home under COVID-19 guidelines, a highlight of his role is making day trips to the Hydrogen Liquefaction and Loading Terminal being constructed at Hastings.

The plant will be the first hydrogen liquefaction facility in Australia and with construction almost complete, Mr Kawazoe is focused on having the site ready for commissioning.

“The days I visit the site are quite busy, but I really enjoy having discussions with other project members and seeing the progress,” Mr Kawazoe said.

Broadly speaking, playing a role in a project supported by the Japanese and Australian Governments is a huge honour for the computer science and programming expert with 10 years’ experience working in the field.

“I am very honoured to be involved and working on the front line of HESC. I believe it will be an important step for the future of energy, and everyone on this project is working hard for the future of our planet,” Mr Kawazoe said.

“Hydrogen will be a basic energy source in the future, and this is obvious from the global boost in interest in hydrogen as fuel that can be produced from various sources.”

Living in Melbourne for the past two years, Mr Kawazoe enjoys running and playing tennis in his spare time and he can easily understand why the city is one of the world’s most liveable.

“People are very kind and cooperative in Australia. I sometimes feel everyone is too relaxed.  However, I am probably seen as ‘too relaxed’ by my colleagues in Japan recently,” Mr Kawazoe joked.

He will stay in Australia until the end of the HESC pilot project in 2021 and has not ruled out the possibility of living in the country long term.  

Latrobe Valley locals learn the ropes at HESC gasification site

Jay Murphy (left) and Ashley Withell at the HESC Project’s Latrobe Valley site

Jay Murphy, Electrical Apprentice, and Ashley Withell, Trade Assistant, are junior tradespeople employed to work on the Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC) Project. They are among some 150 people who have been employed to construct the coal to hydrogen gasification and refining facility in the Latrobe Valley. J-Power, one of Japan’s largest utility companies is using its cutting-edge technology and deep expertise in the power sector to design, build and operate the facility.

Hailing from nearby Traralgon, both are thrilled to be part of the HESC Project. The future of hydrogen in Australia is bright, and Jay and Ashley realise they are gaining innovative skills they can apply to their future careers.  

The pair shared their experiences so far.

Q: What is a typical day working on this project?

Jay: My day includes a range of jobs including electrical earthing (laying cables underground), building cableways, glanding, terminating and installing cables, setting up lighting and completing pre-commissioning work.

Ashley:  Typically, I have to sanitise brew huts due to COVID-19, maintain material and equipment stores, operate forklifts and other power equipment.

Q: What excites you about working on a project of this kind?

Jay:  It has been an exciting experience working on a new world-first project in my own backyard. Everything has been new to me and I have acquired a range of new skills in an emerging industry.

Ashley:  It is exciting being part of building something unlike anything else in Australia and witnessing new ways of working from others around me.

Q: What excites you about the potential of hydrogen?

Jay: The potential of hydrogen excites me because it would bring a whole new industry and hundreds of employment opportunities to the Latrobe Valley.

Ashley: It’s exciting hearing about the potential of hydrogen as a new source of energy and the ways it may benefit the environment.

Once operational, the HESC Project will deliver more job opportunities in the Latrobe Valley. A commercial-scale hydrogen industry in Victoria has the potential to create thousands of new jobs in the Latrobe Valley.

Construction milestone achieved in Hastings

The Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC) Project has achieved another significant milestone. The Hastings site of the Hydrogen Liquefaction and Loading Terminal has been built. It is Australia’s first hydrogen liquefaction facility.

59 engineers, tradespeople and apprentices were directly involved in construction, which took 12 months. 

The site represents one of the key elements in the HESC Pilot Project. Hydrogen gas is transported by truck from Latrobe Valley to this Hastings site. The hydrogen gas is liquefied and then loaded on to a specially designed marine carrier for shipment to Japan.

HESC Project partner Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) led the development and construction works in Hastings. It will also operate the terminal, utilising significant experience in the storage and transport of liquefied hydrogen. KHI built the storage tanks used to hold hydrogen rocket fuel at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Tanegashima Space Centre. This technology has been in use for more than 25 years.

The commissioning process will commence, and it is expected operations will start in late 2020. 

Construction complete at HESC’s Kobe hydrogen terminal

Construction complete at HESC’s Kobe hydrogen terminal

The HESC Project has achieved another major milestone with the completion of construction of its Kobe-based liquefied hydrogen storage and unloading terminal.

The terminal is a key component of the HESC pilot end-to-end supply chain. The world’s first liquefied hydrogen carrier, SUISO FRONTIER, will transport its cargo from the Port of Hastings, in Victoria to the Kobe terminal, in Japan, where liquefied hydrogen will be transferred to a port-side storage tank.

Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) has led the development and construction works of the terminal, utilising its extensive experience, technology and knowledge in cryogenic equipment manufacturing to realise a state of the art facility incorporating ultra-high thermal insulation storage.

HESC project partner, Iwatani Corporation, will now take over responsibility for the operation of the terminal. As the only liquefied hydrogen supplier in Japan, Iwatani’s expertise in this field will be utilised to achieve the safe and efficient operation and management of the facility.

The milestone was commemorated with a small, traditional Japanese ceremony attended by project partners, Local Government representatives and local key stakeholders. Strict COVID-19 safety measures were implemented to manage and avoid any risks to attendees.

For further information please contact: or telephone 1800 875 251.

Update on Latrobe Valley Construction Schedule

Update on Latrobe Valley Construction Schedule

Completion of construction of the HESC Latrobe Valley plant site has been pushed out from June until August 2020.

COVID-19 has caused significant and unprecedented disruption across many industries and supply chains worldwide. This has resulted in a delay to the delivery of some plant components and associated construction works.

It is not expected that this delay will impact the project’s overall operation timeline.

As always, we remain fully committed to our ambitious, mutual hydrogen vision, and supporting government and industries in their efforts to responsibly transition to a secure, economically viable, low carbon energy future.

For further information please contact: or telephone 1800 875 251.

HESC Pilot locks in carbon offset measures

HESC Pilot locks in carbon offset measures

Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC) project partners are pleased to announce that the carbon offset arrangements for the pilot project have now been finalised.

The HESC project partners have entered into an arrangement with South Pole to invest in Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) which will contribute towards the Boobera Carbon Project in Queensland. This will offset emissions from the HESC Pilot project, ensuring the project can support a low-carbon future in Australia from its pilot phase.

Should the project proceed to commercialisation emissions from the brown coal gasification process would be managed through carbon capture and storage (CCS).

HESC has an important role to play in government and industry’s efforts to responsibly transition to a secure, economically viable, low carbon energy future.

Statement from HESC Project Partners on the COVID-19 situation

Statement from HESC Project Partners on the COVID-19 situation

COVID-19 is a once-in-a-century pandemic challenge, affecting communities and businesses around the world. 

The health and safety of our staff, contractors and communities are our primary concern.

As this situation continues to develop, the HESC Project is committed to putting in place measures to ensure that the risks to our staff, contractors, and stakeholders of contracting or transmitting the virus are carefully managed and, to the fullest possible extent, avoided.

All of our workplaces including our construction sites in Hastings and the Latrobe Valley are following the Australian and Victorian governments’ guidelines and regulations for hygiene, social distancing, public gathering restrictions and self-isolation.

The Hastings and Latrobe Valley construction sites have put in place rigorous processes to manage access and regulate human conduct in those sites. We continue to monitor developments and any updates to governments’ guidelines, and are committed to following government advice and adapting our measures accordingly.

As always, we will endeavour to communicate early and transparently to all our stakeholders any potential, relevant impact stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic on the HESC Project.

The HESC Project Partners acknowledge the significant efforts all governments, health workers, individuals and organisations are undertaking to combat this health crisis. We are grateful for everyone’s efforts and hope that you all stay safe during this difficult time.

We remain fully committed to navigating through these challenging times with resilience and continue working to our ambitious, mutual hydrogen vision.

For queries or further information in relation to this matter please contact us on or phone 1800 875 251

HESC Project achieves another significant milestone with the successful installation of the Liquefied Hydrogen Storage Tank on the SUISO FRONTIER

HESC Project achieves another significant milestone with the successful installation of the Liquefied Hydrogen Storage Tank on the SUISO FRONTIER

HESC Project achieves another significant milestone with the successful installation of the Liquefied Hydrogen Storage Tank on the SUISO FRONTIER

27 March 2020

Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC) project partners recognise the ground-breaking achievements by Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. (KHI) for another significant project milestone with the successful installation of the Liquefied Hydrogen (LH2) storage tank for marine transport on the SUISO FRONTIER.

KHI leveraged its extensive experience, technology and knowledge in cryogenic equipment manufacturing to attain state of the art, ultra-high thermal insulation performance for the LH2 storage tank.

The storage tank is a world-leading and game-changing technological development likely to boost the global hydrogen economy. It features a double-shell structure with vacuum insulation between overlapping inner and outer shell layers supported by high strength glass-fibre-reinforced plastic. The high performing LH2 storage tank will enable the safe transport of liquefied hydrogen in large quantities over long distances by sea, facilitating the creation of integrated hydrogen supply chains and hydrogen export around the world.

The SUISO FRONTIER is a key component of the HESC Project which will see the establishment of the world first international hydrogen energy supply chain, whereby liquefied hydrogen produced in Australia will be shipped to Japan. By progressing its ship building ambitions for world-leading and safe liquefied hydrogen carriers, KHI hopes to contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, and realising a sustainable Hydrogen Society.

Read the KHI media release.

Watch the video.

Image: Kawasaki Heavy Industries’ SUISO FRONTIER with liquefied hydrogen tank installed.

Role of HESC reconfirmed in Japan and Australia’s joint hydrogen statement

Role of HESC reconfirmed in Japan and Australia’s joint hydrogen statement

Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Mr Hiroshi Kajiyama and Senator, the Hon. Matthew Canavan, Australia’s Federal Minister for Resources signed a Joint Statement of Co-operation on Hydrogen and Fuel Cells at the Australia-Japan Ministerial Economic Dialogue in Melbourne, on 10 January 2020, reinforcing both countries’ “strong commitment to deploying hydrogen as a clean, secure, affordable and sustainable energy source”.

The statement emphasised hydrogen as a key contributor to emissions reductions, “especially when produced from renewable energy or fossil fuels combined with Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage (CCUS),” and acknowledged “the steady progress of the [HESC project] towards establishing an international hydrogen supply chain.”

The HESC Project Partners appreciated the reference to the HESC Project as a cornerstone of the bilateral relationship between Australia and Japan. This support highlights the importance of this project for the two countries. Fully realised, it will create a new Australian industry, built around clean hydrogen production, exports and technology.

The two Ministers’ reaffirmation of the importance of cooperation, both bilaterally and internationally, on harmonisation of hydrogen policies, market regulations, codes and standards, aimed at spurring international demand was also reassuring. This will be key to providing businesses with the necessary confidence and incentives to invest and realise the full hydrogen potential. In this regard, the Joint Statement overtly mentions the links between the two Governments’ national hydrogen strategies.

The HESC Project Partners look forward to continuing their collaboration with the Japanese, Victorian and Australian Federal Governments to support the implementation of this Joint Statement and its objectives through the successful implementation of the HESC Project.

Read the Joint Statement and Senator Canavan’s media release.