The HESC’s pilot phase involves demonstration of a fully integrated supply chain between Australia and Japan for one year from 2020


Image: The liquid hydrogen receiving terminal at Kobe, Japan. Photo: courtesy of ©HySTRA.

ABB has been selected to deliver automation, electrification and instrumentation solutions for the Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC) pilot project in Australia.

Under the HESC clean energy project, brown coal from the AGL Energy’s Loy Yang mine is planned to be converted into hydrogen.

Hydrogen converted at an adjacent site to the AGL’s mine will be transported by road to a liquefication terminal at the Port of Hastings. The gas will then be shipped to Japan for use in the transport industry.

Being developed in two phases, the HESC project will establish an integrated commercial-scale hydrogen supply chain to deliver liquefied hydrogen to Japan.

HESC pilot phase will operate for approximately one year from 2020

The pilot phase involves demonstration of a fully integrated supply chain between Australia and Japan for one year from 2020.

Under the second phase, the decision to proceed with the commercial phase will be made in the 2020s with operations scheduled to commence in the 2030s.

The project is being developed by consortium comprising Kawasaki subsidiary Hydrogen Engineering Australia (HEA), Electric Power Development (J-Power), J-Power Latrobe Valley (JPLV), Iwatani, Marubeni and AGL Loy Yang.

ABB has secured electrification and instrumentation contract in Australia as well as an automation contract in Japan from Kawasaki Heavy Industries.

ABB’s Industrial Automation business president Peter Terwiesch said: “ABB is excited to collaborate on this world-first pilot to commercialize technology for liquefying and transporting hydrogen from Australia and deliver clean energy to Japan, while also reducing emissions.”

In Australia, ABB will be responsible for the supply and integration of electrical equipment including LV switchgear and distribution panels, power quality components, UPS, end-to-end engineering, project management and commissioning services, as well as instrumentation, motor and gearboxes for the new Hydrogen Liquefaction and Loading Terminal at the Port of Hastings in Victoria.

In Japan, ABB will provide an automation and safety system to support the local operations at the liquid hydrogen receiving terminal at Kobe.

ABB said in a statement: “The Australian Government has described the pilot project as a ‘crucial step’ towards Australia becoming an international leader in hydrogen production, with the Australian and Victorian Governments pledging AU$50 million (US$34 million) each to the AU$500 million (US$343 million) HESC pilot project.”

Construction on the pilot project started in in July 2019.