Akihabara News (Tokyo) — A consortium consisting of the Iwatani Corporation, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, and Fortescue Metals Group, an Australian mining firm, have signed a joint agreement to explore the possibility of producing green hydrogen in Australia to be exported to the Japanese market.
The grouping will be called the Global LH2 Consortium.
While Japan has been aiming to further develop hydrogen-powered vehicles as a central plank of its new environmentally-friendly energy strategy, there has been at least one major flaw in its scheme. Even if the hydrogen vehicles themselves produce no carbon emissions, the production process of the hydrogen fuel that powers these vehicles does routinely contribute to global warming.
The solution is “green hydrogen,” denoting hydrogen fuel that is itself produced through a zero-emissions process.
The Global LH2 Consortium aims to produce green hydrogen in Australia through a liquefaction process using electricity supplied by renewable energy sources such as solar and wind, and then transported to Japan via a hydrogen marine carrier. If successful, the entire chain of production, transportation, and utilization will thus become carbon emissions free.
Iwatani is currently the only liquefied hydrogen supplier in Japan, and is capable of producing 120 million cubic meters of liquefied hydrogen annually through its three bases and six plants. It has a 70% share of the hydrogen market in Japan.
Iwatani Board Member Manabu Tsuyoshi commented, “Iwatani is the number one hydrogen supplier and only liquefied hydrogen supplier in Japan. Since we started in the hydrogen business in 1941, we have built a nationwide hydrogen network from manufacturing to transportation, storage, supply, and safety. In order to expand our hydrogen supply capabilities and to develop new business models, Iwatani is pleased to partner with Fortescue and Kawasaki to establish future global hydrogen supply chains.”
Kawasaki Executive Officer Eiichi Harada added, “Kawasaki is a world leader in the production, storage, shipping, and handling of liquid hydrogen. In order to contribute to securing a stable energy supply and the preservation of the global environment, Kawasaki is excited to enter into a relationship and business partnership with Fortescue and Iwatani for the establishment of the Global LH2 Consortium.”