Australia’s CS Energy, Japan’s IHI partner on hydrogen

Queensland state-owned utility CS Energy is partnering Japanese engineering firm IHI to assess the feasibility of building a hydrogen demonstration plant fuelled by solar power beside its 750MW Kogan Creek coal-fired power plant in the Australian state.

CS Energy and IHI will prepare a feasibility study into the Kogan hydrogen demonstration plant concept, which includes the co-location of a solar farm, battery, hydrogen electrolyser and a hydrogen fuel cell at Kogan Creek, said CS Energy chief executive Andrew Bills.

"CS Energy is pursuing this project to ensure we have the technical capability to enter the hydrogen market once it becomes more commercially viable," Bills said.

The partnership follows other hydrogen joint ventures between Australia and Japanese firms in the past 12 months. Japanese engineering firm Mitsubishi Heavy Industries last year agreed to invest in Hydrogen Utility that has been developing green hydrogen and ammonia projects using renewable power sources in South Australia.

Japanese energy firm Iwatani started a study into green hydrogen production in Australia with Queensland state-controlled power utility Stanwell. The firms aim to produce hydrogen in Queensland from renewable power sources, liquefy the green hydrogen and then export it to Japan using liquid hydrogen carriers.

Japan has pledged to achieve a net-zero greenhouse gas emissions target by 2050, looking to hydrogen as one way of meeting this goal. The country has the world's largest network of hydrogen filling stations for road transport. Japan also plans to have hydrogen carriers ready to import hydrogen from countries such as Australia.