Construction has begun on a world-first liquid hydrogen pilot project in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley.
The Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC) Pilot Project will see liquefied hydrogen produced from Latrobe Valley brown coal transported to Japan for use in fuel cell electric vehicles and power generation.
Minister for Economic Development, Tim Pallas, joined the Kawasaki Heavy Industries Global Chairman, Shigeru Murayama, at the Port of Hastings to mark the beginning of construction of the hydrogen liquefaction facility.
Mr Pallas said the hydrogen economy has the potential to be an important future sector in Victoria with the HESC Pilot Project providing an opportunity for Victoria to lead the global emergence of this industry.
“The commencement of construction on Australia’s first hydrogen liquefaction and export facility begins Victoria’s quest to become a global leader in hydrogen.”
If the decision is made to proceed to commercial scale, the project has the potential to provide low emission hydrogen that can help meet Victoria’s future energy needs, as well as kick-start the emergence of a new, global export industry.
The pilot project is expected to create 400 jobs across the Victorian supply chain – both in the Latrobe Valley and at the Hastings hydrogen liquefaction facility – and potentially thousands more in the commercial phase.
It will also enable the transfer of knowledge and expertise in the production and utilisation of hydrogen to Victorian companies.
It could make Victoria a world leader in the fast-growing hydrogen industry, which is expected to be worth $1.8 trillion by 2050.
The project is being developed by a consortium of Japan’s top energy and infrastructure companies, with the full support of the Victorian, Commonwealth and Japanese Governments.
The consortium partners include Kawasaki Heavy Industries, J-Power, Iwatani Corporation, Marubeni Corporation and AGL, with KHI and Iwatani leading the build at the Port of Hastings.
Kawasaki Heavy Industries Global Chair, Shigeru Murayama, said, “This new facility that we are building here at Western Port will be the foundation of a potential new and exciting hydrogen export industry for Australia.
“Delivering clean hydrogen to the world for the benefit of our environment is a goal we share deeply and we look forward to achieving.”