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A commercial hydrogen supply chain shows potential in Queensland

hydrogen supply chain

A commercial scale, carbon-dioxide-free hydrogen supply chain could be established between Queensland and Japan, with ENEOS Corporation – Japan’s largest petrol company – committing to a detailed study on the potential project. 

ENEOS Corporation was the official energy and hydrogen supplier for the Tokyo Olympics and holds about a 50 per cent market share of petrol sales in Japan. 

“This is an exciting development for Queensland, as we are working hard to develop our sustainable hydrogen industry and leverage the solar resources already developed and to be developed in the future,” Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said. 

“Since the launch of Queensland hydrogen strategy during my trade mission to Japan in 2018, we have seen a number of Japanese companies interested in developing the Queensland hydrogen industry with us.” 

This study explores one of the latest hydrogen transport and storage technologies, MCH (methylcyclohexane), which is the next step towards establishing a large-scale carbon-dioxide-free hydrogen supply chain in Queensland. 

The study will examine what existing infrastructure and transport options can be used and what gaps need to be filled along the hydrogen supply chain. It will also highlight opportunities. 

The company has chosen Queensland due to the state’s proactive government policy on hydrogen, abundant renewable resources and well-established infrastructure. 

ENEOS already owns petroleum tankers, storage tanks and refineries used for export. These are expected to be used as the hydrogen supply chain develops and owns its own import terminals in Japan, where they are looking to dehydrogenate. 

In 2019 ENEOS Corporation proved its technology by demonstrating the delivery of carbon-dioxide-free hydrogen from Queensland to Japan in the form of MCH, in conjunction with Queensland University of Technology. 

ENEOS has recently announced construction on the 204MWdc solar project at Edenvale on the Western Downs – one of the largest Japanese solar investments in Australia. 

The investment will create 400 jobs in the construction phase for regional Queensland. 

“Australia’s hydrogen industry is expected to contribute at least $11 billion to the national economy and generate around 7,600 jobs by 2050,” minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni said. 

“We’re making sure Queensland is in prime position to take advantage of this huge opportunity. Queenslanders know how to develop exports and the jobs that come with them, especially in our regions. 

“We already have reliable, publicly-owned electricity generation and we already have outstanding water and port infrastructure. Our location on Australia’s east coast is also a bonus – with close proximity to key Asian markets, including Japan, where hydrogen demand is expected to be high.” 

ENEOS Corporation’s latest project is another vote of confidence in Queensland’s renewables future. 

“The company has great faith in Queensland and what we are capable of as an investment state, with rich and sustainable resources,” Queensland’s Trade and Investment commissioner for Japan Tak Adachi said. 

“This is significant for the development of a carbon-dioxide free hydrogen industry.” 

In 2020, Japan was Queensland’s second-largest goods export destination, valued at $8.2 billion, representing 13.0 per cent of Queensland’s total goods exports and 18.7 per cent of Australia’s total goods exports with Japan. 

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