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Hazardex August: Editor's comment

06 August 2020

On June 25, Japanese engineering company Chiyoda Corporation announced that its pilot hydrogen project had begun to provide clean fuel for gas turbine power generators at a Japanese power plant using hydrogen imported from Brunei. The project is the world’s first implementation of an international hydrogen supply chain and the first example of foreign-produced hydrogen being used for power generation in Japan.

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Chiyoda and its partner companies Mitsubishi Corp, Mitsui & Co and Nippon Yusen established the project in 2015 with an aim to eventually import 210 tonnes of hydrogen a year from Brunei to Japan. The research unit, Advanced Hydrogen Energy Chain Association for Technology Development (AHEAD), built a hydrogenation plant in Brunei and a dehydrogenation plant in Japan.

As part of the project, Chiyoda developed SPERA Hydrogen technology which allows hydrogen to be handled in liquid form as Methylcyclohexane (MCH). This makes it possible to use existing petroleum transportation and distribution infrastructure, such as tanks, oil tankers and tank lorries, lowering the capital investment for hydrogen transportation. 

Gaseous hydrogen is then separated from MCH at a dehydrogenation plant in Kawasaki, eastern Japan, and supplied to consumers as power generation fuel. After arriving at the dehydrogenation plant, the hydrogen is supplied to a gas turbine in TOA OIL’s Mizue Thermal Power Plant. The pilot is expected to continue through November 2020, with AHEAD aiming to eventually transport 350,000 tonnes of hydrogen a year to power a 1 gigawatt power plant in 2030.

The AHEAD project represents a model for potential hydrogen supply chains around the world and its success shows how hydrogen is becoming an ever more viable energy source to help countries meet carbon emission targets. The hydrogen sector represents an exciting opportunity for companies operating in the hazardous area sector and it will be interesting to see just how much the energy landscape will be changed as hydrogen facilities and supply chains develop.

…Alistair Hookway, Editor, Hazardex
alistair.hookway@imlgroup.co.uk


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