K Line Joins Project to Develop Hydrogen Supply Chain

Japanese shipping company Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line) is taking part in “CO₂-free Hydrogen Energy Supply-Chain Technology Research Association” (HySTRA), an association working towards creating an international CO₂ free energy supply chain, the company said.

Image Courtesy: KHI

The announcement comes days after the launching and naming of the project’s centerpiece, also known as the world’s first liquefied hydrogen carrier, Suiso Frontier, by Japanese shipbuilder Kawasaki Heavy Industries.

This vessel is owned by HySTRA, formed by Kawasaki, Iwatani Corporation (Iwatani), Shell Japan Limited, and Electric Power Development Co., Ltd. (J-POWER) in 2016, with the aim of promoting hydrogen as a fuel source.

The Susiso Frontier will be used for technology demonstration testing in Japanese FY 2020 aimed at the establishment of an international hydrogen energy supply chain in which liquefied hydrogen produced in Australia will be shipped to Japan. As part of the project, K Line said it would provide assistance for the safe transportation of liquefied hydrogen.

“K Line has been developing professional expertise and know-how concerning the safe operation of liquefied gas carriers and handling of liquefied gas cargoes such as LNG and LPG through its long history and diversified track-record of ownership and technical management of liquefied gas carriers. Based on such extensive experience, K Line will contribute to HySTRA’s demonstration by providing assistance in the technical operation of Suiso Frontier,” the company added.

The Japanese shipowner pointed out that its participation in HySTRA has been motivated by its belief that contributing towards the construction of an international supply chain of hydrogen, one of the primary drivers for the realization of low-carbon and carbon-free society, is fully compliant with its own corporate vision and philosophy.

The mass hydrogen marine transportation supply chain is planned to be derived from unused brown coal within the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization’s (NEDO) demonstration project.

The pilot project is planned for 2020-2021, and it will demonstrate brown coal gasification and hydrogen refining at Latrobe Valley in Australia, hydrogen liquefaction and storage of liquefied hydrogen at Hastings, marine transportation of liquefied hydrogen from Australia to Japan and unloading of liquefied hydrogen in Japan.

Namely, a liquefied hydrogen unloading terminal is being built in Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture, and a brown coal gasification facility is being constructed in Australia.