January 2019:

2019 is shaping up to be an important year for the clean energy revolution, with Australia moving one-step closer to becoming a world leader in hydrogen technology and export. After months of planning and work behind the scenes, the Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC) Project is set to become a reality later this year.

There has been exciting news for hydrogen outside of HESC, with Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel obtaining the official government’s rubber stamp to develop a national hydrogen strategy to set the pathway to fully grasp the global hydrogen opportunity. Businesses also welcomed the bipartisanship commitment to hydrogen, exemplified by the federal opposition leader’s announcement of a $1 billion pledge for hydrogen production in Australia, touting the resource as an “emerging and exciting source of energy across the world” and calling for Australia’s “hydrogen revolution”. In Victoria, the State Government is just as positive about hydrogen’s future, with the recent announcement of the Victorian Hydrogen Investment Program (VHIP).

Driving Australia’s efforts to establish a national hydrogen industry, and with clear focus on the world’s clean energy future, the HESC Project Partners will start construction works for the new hydrogen gas production plant in the Latrobe Valley and an equally new hydrogen liquefaction plant at Hastings in mid-2019, enabling the delivery of the pilot stage of the project.

The newly designed and constructed hydrogen gas production plant located at the AGL Loy Yang Complex will produce hydrogen using gasification technologies adapted specifically for Victoria’s brown coal. Hydrogen gas will be transported to Hastings by road.  The plant at Hastings will be located in an existing industrial area where hydrogen gas will be converted into liquefied hydrogen, using existing, well-proven and safe technologies. This will then allow for the transportation of liquid hydrogen to Japan, via a world-first ship carrier, thus laying the foundation for a new hydrogen export industry.

2019 will be both an exciting and busy year for the HESC Project Partners. Before construction on the new plants can begin, a key priority will be to work with local communities and secure all the approvals needed to ensure that our pilot project is delivered in full safety and respect of the environment.

The HESC Project Partners are looking forward to the continued, strong cooperation between companies, governments and research institutions, both in Japan and Australia, which will surely allow for the timely and successful commencement of the pilot phase in 2019. The future is looking bright for hydrogen and clean energy.