SEPTEMBER 2018: THE INDUSTRY CONSORTIUM leading the Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC) project, a world-first hydrogen energy production pilot project, has welcomed a recent study tour by Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel AO.

Following his release of the ‘Hydrogen for Australia’s future’ briefing paper for the COAG Energy Council, Dr Finkel led a delegation of Australian government officials, industry members and researchers, to learn about Japan’s approach to large scale integration of hydrogen into the Japanese economy, showcase Australia as a strategic partner, and to visit a range of sites relevant to hydrogen in Japan.

To study the technical aspects of the HESC project and the broader science behind hydrogen energy production underway in Japan and its opportunity for Australia, Dr Finkel visited three of the HESC consortium project partners: Iwatani Corporation (Iwatani), Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) and Electric Power Development Co. Ltd. (J-Power).

Dr Finkel and his delegation were hosted at the following locations:

  • At the Iwatani site, Dr Finkel visited the Iwatani R&D Centre where the Iwatani team demonstrated the test facilities for hydrogen and Japan’s first commercial hydrogen refuelling station.
  • At the KHI sites, the team toured the Akashi Works, Harima Works, and Kobe’s Port Island and Airport Island where they viewed various hydrogen-related facilities.

One key site was the demonstration facility for hydrogen/natural gas-fuelled cogeneration system, a pilot project supported by the Japanese Government to generate electricity and heat using a gas turbine fuelled by hydrogen/natural gas for use at local urban communities. This pilot is the world first delivery of energy and heat to an urban area generated by a gas turbine fuelled by 100% hydrogen, click here for more information.

  • There was also a tour of the future construction site of the liquefied hydrogen unloading facility on Kobe Airport Island, led by the CO2-free Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain Technology Research Association (HySTRA) which has been specifically set aside for the Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain project – this is where the liquefied hydrogen will arrive via carrier ship following its journey from Victoria, Australia.
  • The delegation also made a courtesy visits to KHI and J-Power’s headquarter offices in Tokyo respectively.

The HESC consortium project partners are very pleased to have hosted Dr Finkel and welcome his support of a clean hydrogen energy solution globally, and the hydrogen export potential this presents for Australia.

In an exclusive opinion piece for Fairfax Media recently, Dr Finkel outlined his account of this recent fact-finding trip to Japan which he said has “declared its intention to be the world’s first nation to use hydrogen as a mainstream fuel”.