ENEOS Corporation, Japan’s largest oil company, has announced they will be conducting a detailed study on the establishment of a commercial scale, carbon-dioxide-free hydrogen supply chain between Japan and Queensland.

The Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, met with ENEOS Corporation senior executives during her trip to Tokyo to secure the 2032 Olympics. The company was the official energy and hydrogen supplier for the Tokyo Olympics.

Ms Palaszczuk has welcomed the announcement by ENEOS Corporation, which holds about 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,” Ms Palaszcuk said.

“Since the launch of the 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 is unique as it explores one of the latest hydrogen transport and storage technologies called MCH (methylcyclohexane), which is the next step towards establishing a large-scale carbon-dioxide-free hydrogen business in Queensland.

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

ENEOS already owns petroleum tankers, storage tanks and refineries used for export, which 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.

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

In 2019 the corporation has already proven its technology by demonstrating the world-first delivery of carbon-dioxide-free hydrogen from Queensland to Japan in the form of methylcyclohexane, known as MCH, in conjunction with Queensland University of Technology.

ENEOS also recently announced the start of 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.

Queensland Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen, Mick de Brenni, said Queenslanders had a strong history of developing export industries.

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

“We’re making sure Queensland is in a 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.”

Queensland’s Trade and Investment Commissioner for Japan, Tak Adachi, said ENEOS’s latest project was 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,” Mr 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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