Gladstone may produce hydrogen by 2023 as Sumitomo ramps up

Gladstone could be producing hydrogen by 2023 as Japanese giant Sumitomo ramps up its plans for a production plant in the city.

Jan 29, 2021, updated Jan 29, 2021
Hydrogen molecules ... the only waste from production would be water.

Hydrogen molecules ... the only waste from production would be water.

Sumitomo Corporation and JGC Holdings Corporation have signed a Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) contract for the hydrogen-related project planned by Sumitomo.

Sumitomo said the project was part of broader program aimed at building local hydrogen production and consumption in Gladstone by producing hydrogen from electrolysis of water using electricity from Solar PV as the main power source.

“The initial hydrogen production plant would produce 250-300 tonnes of hydrogen annually, with plans to scale up production,” it said.

Reports out of Japan said the company expected to be in production by 2023.

It follows Sun Metals’ investment this week in the CopperString electricity transmission project which could help deliver renewable energy to Townsville to be used in the production of hydrogen.

Sumitomo said that in addition to producing hydrogen at the initial plant, it was also creating hydrogen demand in the region.

The company is investing in the scheme on the back of the Federal Government’s National Hydrogen Strategy.

It said Gladstone was attracting attention as a suitable location for hydrogen production and consumption because of its existing industrial infrastructure, including its port.

“It also has rich solar radiation with long daylight hours, which leads to the green hydrogen production site,” it said.

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Green hydrogen uses renewable energy to create hydrogen and the only waste from production would be water. Other forms of hydrogen production use fossil fuels with the option of burying the carbon produced in the process.

Sumitomo said it expected hydrogen to be one of the important energies in the future and in order to contribute to the achievement of long-term goals and carbon neutralisation by 2050 it would “accelerate our efforts for the materialisation of a hydrogen society by promoting hydrogen-related businesses”.

“As one of the key issues (materiality) to be addressed as a corporate group, the JGC Group is making extensive efforts to expand the use of hydrogen energy, which is expected to be an energy source that does not emit CO2 when burned, and ammonia, which is expected to be one of the most promising hydrogen energy carriers in hydrogen transportation, where there are issues from an economic and safety perspective,” it said.

“In October 2018, in collaboration with the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), we became the first in the world to successfully synthesise ammonia from hydrogen produced by electrolysis of water using renewable energy sources and to generate electricity from gas turbines fueled by the synthesised ammonia, and we are currently collaborating with other companies to explore fuel ammonia production projects overseas.

“In addition, we are proposing a hydrogen production system that will produce hydrogen from synthetic gas made from waste plastics, in order to continue to contribute to the realisation of a hydrogen society in Japan and abroad.”


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