KHI gears up of major hydrogen supply chain push

Japan’s Kawasaki Heavy Industries has set sights on recreating the liquefied natural gas (LNG) value chain with hydrogen.

Courtesy of Kawasaki Heavy
KHI to repeat its LNG supply chain success with hydrogen
Courtesy of Kawasaki Heavy

Hydrogen is considered a key element to help decarbonize industries and aid the global energy transition.

Its future demand is expected to come from various segments including transport, building and power generation.

The company plans to build two commercial-scale ships to import 225,000 tonnes of hydrogen by 2030, and 80 hydrogen carriers to import 9 million tonnes a year by 2050, Reuters reports.

The targeted hydrogen-related sales amount to 120 billion yen ($1.16 billion) for 2030 and 300 billion yen for 2040.

The project through which KHI hopes to achieve the above-mentioned goal is a A$500 million ($385 million) pilot project supported by the Japanese and Australian governments.

Shipping of the first liquefied hydrogen cargo from Australia to Japan is planned for this spring.

The Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC) will include production, transportation and storage, with the goal of delivering liquefied hydrogen to Japan on a scale that meets their local demand, according to the project case study.

Kawasaki began developing a hydrogen supply chain that includes hydrogen liquefaction systems and storage tanks more than a decade ago. The company’s biggest challenge in achieving the newly set goal is cost.

Motohiko Nishimura, Kawasaki’s vice executive officer, told Reuters the company wants to prove it is possible to ship mass volumes of hydrogen globally, similar to LNG.

Japan’s government wants to boost its annual hydrogen demand from two million tonnes now to three million tonnes by 2030, and 20 million tonnes by 2050.

By freezing hydrogen gas to minus 253 Celsius, which is lower than LNG’s minus 162 C, the cargo can be compressed to one-800th of its gaseous volume.