World’s First Liquid Hydrogen Cargo Prepares to Set Sail for Japan

Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC), a Japanese-Australian joint venture producing hydrogen from brown coal, prepares to load cargo on the world’s first liquid hydrogen carrier. The test had been delayed for nearly a year because of the pandemic.

The hydrogen carrier, Suiso Frontier was built by Japan’s Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI). The vessel arrived Australia this week from Kobe, and will return to Japan in about a week loaded with liquid hydrogen, a first in history.

HESC is a A$500 million ($360 million) coal-to-hydrogen project backed by Japan and Australia as part of an effort to curb carbon emissions and switch to cleaner energy.

Japan sees green hydrogen as key to decarbonize its industries that heavily rely on coal, gas and oil in order to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Australia aims to become a major exporter of the fuel.

The Australian government invested a further A$7.5 million for HESC’s A$184 million pre-commercialisation phase, and A$20 million for testing a capture and storage project for CO2 released in the coal-to-hydrogen process.

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