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Australia and Japan progress hydrogen cooperation

13 Jan 2020 2:44 PM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

AUSTRALIA’s minister for natural resources Matt Canavan has signed a joint statement of cooperation with Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Hiroshi Kajiyama on the development of hydrogen and fuel cells, paving the way for further work on developing a hydrogen export industry.

Japan has plans to build a domestic hydrogen economy to decarbonise and Australia is working to replicate the success of its LNG exports with a hydrogen export industry, while also exploring the gas for domestic use.

The two signed the statement during the Australia-Japan Ministerial Economic Dialogue in Melbourne last week. 

"Australia is building a hydrogen production base to foster domestic growth and meet future export demand in Japan and the region," Canavan said.

The nine-point document outlines future cooperation and builds off both Australia's National Hydrogen Strategy of 2019 and  the Tokyo Statement released during the 1st Hydrogen Energy Ministerial Meeting in Tokyo in October 2018 and the Global Action Agenda of the Tokyo Statement released during the 2nd Hydrogen Energy Ministerial Meeting in Tokyo in September 2019.

Australia finally released its National Hydrogen Strategy in November last year. Though it presents a clear way forward, notes each state's capabilities and projects and aims to develop hydrogen service ‘clusters' it has been criticized for its focus on fossil fuel generated hydrogen.

"Scenarios developed for the National Hydrogen Strategy indicate an Australian hydrogen industry could generate about 8,000 jobs and about $11 billion a year in GDP by 2050," a statement from the minister's office said this afternoon.

"The statement encourages Australia and Japan to exchange views on national hydrogen strategies and safety information as well as shape the global hydrogen market regulations," the government said today.

It will also encourage the two "to exchange views on national hydrogen strategies and safety information as well as shape the global hydrogen market regulations".

It also called the Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain project in Victoria "a cornerstone of the bilateral economic relationship and welcome the steady progress of the project towards establishing an international hydrogen supply chain."

The $500 million project, which has $100 million of funding from Australian government bodies both federal and state, aims to develop hydrogen from the La Trobe Valley's brown coal, sequestering the resulting carbon underground utilising the CarbonNet carbon capture and storage project then liquefying the resulting gas and transporting it via specialised ship to Japan. 

Kawasaki, which is developing the project, launched the world's first bulk liquid hydrogen carrier the Susio Frontier in December, which will transport the new fuel to a terminal in Kobe, Japan, that is still under construction.

Source: Energy News Bulletin

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