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.