According to the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, hydrogen could provide a secure and clean source of energy as countries tackle the challenge of meeting national and international emissions reduction targets.
The Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC) Pilot Project aims to safely and efficiently produce clean hydrogen from Victoria’s Latrobe Valley and transport it to Japan for use in fuel cell electric vehicles and power generation – in one of the world’s first efforts to commercialise technology to liquefy and transport hydrogen.
Under the Pilot Project, a new Hydrogen Liquefaction and Loading Terminal will be built at the Port of Hastings in Victoria.
The Australian Government has described the HESC Pilot Project as a ‘crucial step’ towards Australia becoming an international leader in hydrogen production, with the Australian and Victorian Governments pledging AU$50 million each to the AU$500 million endeavour. [i]
The HESC Pilot Project is expected to create 400 jobs across the Victorian supply chain – both in the Latrobe Valley and at the Hydrogen Liquefaction Facility – and potentially thousands more in the commercial phase if it is decided it will go-ahead. [ii]
It is also forecast that the landmark pilot project could potentially create AUD$2 billion in exports nationally – positioning Australia as a global leader in hydrogen production. [iii]
In July 2019, the HESC project partners, together with the Australian and Victorian Governments, the Japanese Ambassador to Australia and distinguished guests marked the start of construction on the small-scale pilot facilities at the Port of Hastings with a commemorative sod turn on-site.
Furthermore, it was recently announced that Swiss-Swedish multinational corporation, ABB, will deliver automation, electrification and instrumentation solutions for HESC Pilot Project.
ABB has been awarded orders in both Australia and Japan – winning an electrification and instrumentation contract in Australia and an automation contract in Japan from Kawasaki Heavy Industries.
In Australia, ABB will supply and integrate electrical equipment including LV switchgear and distribution panels, power quality components, UPS, end-to-end engineering, project management and commissioning services, as well as instrumentation, motor and gearboxes for the new Hydrogen Liquefaction and Loading Terminal.
In commenting on the news, President of ABB’s Industrial Automation business, Peter Terwiesch, said: “ABB is excited to collaborate on this world-first pilot to commercialise technology for liquefying and transporting hydrogen from Australia and deliver clean energy to Japan, while also reducing emissions.”
The decision to move to commercial production will be made in the 2020s and operations would be established in the 2030s.
This will depend on the successful completion of the pilot, regulatory approvals, community backing and demand for hydrogen.
The HESC project partners include: Kawasaki Heavy Industries, J-Power, Iwatani Corporation, Marubeni Corporation and AGL, with Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Iwatani leading the build at the Port of Hastings.