Construction is underway on a new gasification facility in Victoria as part of the world-first Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC) Pilot Project.
The 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. It is one of the world’s first efforts to commercialise technology to liquefy and transport hydrogen.
It will develop and trial a seven-stage hydrogen supply chain, which involves:
- The gasification of Victorian brown coal to produce synthetic gas (carbon monoxide and hydrogen).
- Refining the gas to hydrogen.
- Transporting the gas by truck from the Latrobe Valley to the Port of Hastings in Victoria.
- Liquefaction of gas to hydrogen liquid.
- Storing the liquid hydrogen for transport by ship to Japan.
- Transporting the liquid hydrogen to Japan using an advanced technology, purpose-built ship.
- Unloading and storing the liquid hydrogen in Japan.
Under the HESC Pilot Project, J-Power Latrobe Valley Pty Ltd (J-Power) will produce hydrogen from brown coal at the Loy Yang Power Station in the Latrobe Valley prior to it being transported to the Port of Hastings.
The HESC Pilot Project is intended to run from 2018 until 2021. If the decision is made to move to commercial production, the project could potentially bring billions of dollars of international investment to Victoria and Australia, create a significant number of jobs across the commercial phase, and position Australia as a global leader in the supply of clean hydrogen energy.
The decision will depend on factors such as the successful completion of the pilot, regulatory approvals, community backing and demand for hydrogen.