Get InQueensland in your inbox Subscribe

Japan's Eneos backs study in boost to state's hydrogen sector


Queensland’s fledgling hydrogen sector has earned a new entrant after Japan’s largest oil company, ENEOS,  committed to a detailed study on a commercial scale, hydrogen supply chain between Japan and Queensland.


Print article

It follows an announcement earlier this week by Sumitomo and Rio Tinto who signed a deal to investigate the use of hydrogen at the Yarwun alumina refinery in Gladstone.

Japan and South Korea have a long-term strategy of transforming their energy supply with hydrogen. ENEOS holds a 50 per cent share of Japan’s petrol market and its announcement follows talks with Premier Annastacia Palaszzuk during her trip to Tokyo for the recent Olympics.

ENEOS has started selling hydrogen to fuel cars in Yokohama City and Tokyo.

ENEOS will examine shipping the hydrogen to Japan as methylcyclohexane, which fixes hydrogen with toluene and remains in a liquid form at normal temperature and pressure for storage and transportation.

It’s understood the company will be looking for Government support.

“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,” Palaszczuk said.

“Since the launch of Queensland hydrogen strategy during my trade mission to Japan in 2018, we have seen a number of Japanese companies interested in developing Queensland hydrogen industry with us.”

This study is unique as it explores one of the latest hydrogen transport and storage technologies called MCH,  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.

In 2019 the corporation delivered 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.


More Business stories

Loading next article