Photo: Courtesy of HESC

World’s 1st LH2 shipment exported via Suiso Frontier

Australia is sending the world’s first liquified hydrogen shipment to Japan via the Suiso Frontier, the world’s first LH2 carrier.

World’s 1st LH2 shipment exported via Suiso Frontier
Courtesy of HESC

At the end of January, Victoria’s Port of Hastings marked the Suiso Frontier‘s arrival from Japan to Australia. Before that, in December, the world’s first liquid hydrogen carrier left Japan to pick up its first cargo in Australia.

This is a major milestone in the A$500 million ($355 million) Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC) pilot project. The project is the first in the world to extract, liquefy and transport LH2  by sea to an international market.

The Suiso Frontier will transport the super-cooled LH2 from Port Hastings to Kobe, Japan.

Australia is investing around $1 billion into the development of its hydrogen industry. This also includes $329.5 million to develop clean hydrogen industrial hubs in regional Australia.

In addition, the country has launched the $106.50 million Australian Clean Hydrogen Trade Program. The program will support Australian-based hydrogen supply chain projects that secure overseas public or private sector investment. The first round of the program will specifically focus on the export of clean hydrogen to Japan under the Japan-Australia Partnership on Decarbonisation through Technology.

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HESC: Australia–Japan LH2 collaboration

The HESC project involves a consortium of energy and infrastructure companies from Australia and Japan. These include:

  • Kawasaki Heavy Industries
  • J-Power
  • Iwatani Corporation
  • Marubeni Corporation
  • Sumitomo Corporation
  • AGL

The Australian, Japanese and Victorian governments also supported the project. Moreover, Austrade has supported the HESC project since 2011 and will continue to support it as it grows

The consortium built a hydrogen production plant at AGL’s Loy Yang site in the Latrobe Valley. The plant produced 99.99 per cent pure hydrogen using brown coal and biomass. After that, the hydrogen was moved to Hastings and cooled to minus 253 degrees. It was then liquified to less than 800 times its gaseous volume to create LH2.

“The HESC project has the potential to become a major source of clean energy. It will help Australia and Japan both reach our goals of net zero emissions by 2050,” said minister Angus Taylor.

Over the next two years, the project partners will research and develop the technical and operational requirements for a commercial-scale project.

Finally, the HESC will produce an estimated 225,000 tonnes of CO2-neutral liquefied hydrogen. Therefore, this would help reduce global emissions by around 1.8 million tonnes per year.

To clarify, Japanese shipbuilder Kawasaki Heavy Industries built the Suiso Frontier in 2020 under the CO2-free HySTRA membership. KHI, Iwatani, Shell, and Electric Power Development joined together under HySTRA to promote hydrogen as a fuel source.