Launch of pilot hydrogen energy project

Hydrogen is a fuel of the future and has the potential to provide a secure and clean source of energy as countries tackle the challenge of meeting national and international emissions reduction targets.

As a first step in developing a viable hydrogen industry in Australia, the Australian and Victorian Governments are supporting an innovative, world-first project to produce hydrogen in Victoria and export it in liquid form to Japan.

The process will involve converting brown coal into hydrogen gas, then converting this to liquid form for export to Japan.

Brown coal solid ▶ gas ▶ liquid ▶ energy source

Australian CSIRO scientists and researchers involved in the Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain Pilot Project will be able to collaborate with Japanese counterparts and access Japanese technologies.

Australia is well-placed to become a global hydrogen production and export leader—it has abundant natural resources, excellent infrastructure, and technical prowess in commodity development and international trade.

Sharing project knowledge and paving the way for additional hydrogen export opportunities will greatly enhance Australia’s position as a potential front-runner in the export and use of hydrogen.

The Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain Pilot Project will develop and trial a seven-stage hydrogen supply chain.

Stage 1: Gasification of brown coal to produce synthetic gas (carbon monoxide and hydrogen)

Stage 2: Refining the gas to hydrogen

Stage 3: Transporting the gas by truck from the Latrobe Valley to the Port of Hastings in Victoria

Stage 4: Liquefaction of gas to hydrogen liquid

Stage 5: Storing the liquid hydrogen for transport by ship to Japan

Stage 6: Transporting the liquid hydrogen to Japan using an advanced technology, purpose built ship

Stage 7: Unloading and storing the liquid hydrogen in Japan.

Depending on the successful completion of the pilot, regulatory approvals, community backing and demand for hydrogen, the decision to move to commercial production will be made in the 2020s and operations established in the 2030s. 

The project is an important step for Australian science and innovation as we investigate new ways to create and use energy in the global economy.

Read the media release

Visit the Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain Pilot project website

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