Japan’s Kawasaki Heavy Industries has completed construction work on the world’s first liquefied hydrogen receiving terminal, the Kobe LH2 Terminal, and has begun operational testing.
The facility, also known as Hy touch Kobe, includes a spherical liquefied hydrogen storage tank with a capacity of 2,250 m3 and associated equipment such as a loading arm system for transferring liquefied hydrogen from ships to the land-based facilities. The tank has a double-shell vacuum-insulation structure and will store cryogenic liquefied at -253°C and one eight-hundredth of its initial volume.
Hy touch Kobe will be used in a subsidised demonstration of an international hydrogen energy supply chain, to transport liquefied hydrogen from Australia to Japan, being run by the CO2-free Hydrogen Energy Supply-chain Technology Research Association (HySTRA). HySTRA hopes that its pilot demonstration project will prove the commercial viability of hydrogen as a fuel.
Hydrogen is touted as a potential useful replacement for some liquid hydrocarbon fuels as the world seeks to reduce its carbon dioxide output in response to climate change. The EU, the UK and Russia have already released hydrogen development strategies, and various major projects are underway to produce hydrogen from more sustainable sources, including ‘blue hydrogen’, produced from hydrocarbon sources such as natural gas with carbon emissions collected, and ‘green hydrogen’, produced through solar-powered water electrolysis.
HySTRA’s project will generate hydrogen by gasifying unused brown coal at a facility in the Latrobe Valley in Australia. Carbon dioxide emissions will be captured and stored underground. Hydrogen will be transported by land to a port in Hastings, Australia, before being liquefied and stored prior to transport by ship to Kobe. It is being supported by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), Japan’s largest public management organisation funding research and development into industrial environmental technologies.
Kawasaki says that it will use technologies and learnings from the project to develop even larger tanks, capable of supporting a ‘hydrogen society’.