Construction has begun on a world-first hydrogen project (Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain, HESC) at the AGL Loy Yang coal mine.
The Australian, Japanese and Victorian Governments, alongside a consortium of companies, will begin piloting an innovative project that will see brown coal from the AGL Loy Yang mine converted into hydrogen.
Through this process the hydrogen will be transported by road to a liquefaction terminal at the Port of Hastings before being shipped to Japan for use in fuel cell electric vehicles and power generation.
Construction of the plant in the Latrobe Valley has begun with local contractors employed to carry out foundation and civil works. The coal gasifying facility is due to be completed mid-2020.
AGL, along with its Japanese consortium partners and the Victorian Government, celebrated the next milestone in the exploration of a new global export industry in low-emissions hydrogen.
AGL Loy Yang General Manager, Nigel Browne, said the project provides an opportunity for Australia to be at the forefront of a rapidly expanding hydrogen industry and potentially utilise one of the state’s largest natural resources in a low emissions way.
“As we move into a low-emissions future, we need to draw on the technical and natural strengths of our region and harness them to diversify the economy, and create new sources of prosperity,” Mr Browne said.
“We are proud to be working with our Japanese partners who are global leaders in exploring the use of hydrogen.”
Pilot plant operations will begin mid-2020 and run for one year. The pilot project is the first step in creating a commercial hydrogen energy supply chain requiring the use of carbon capture and storage.
The consortium partners include Kawasaki Heavy Industries, J-Power, Iwatani Corporation, Marubeni Corporation, Sumitomo Corporation and AGL.