PILBARA Ports Authority has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Port of Himeji in Japan to boost renewable energy trade opportunities.

The MoU intends to support co-operation and knowledge exchange between the two ports on renewable energy and net zero carbon emission initiatives.

Port of Himeji has a strong trade relationship with Western Australia, according to the state government. Himeji imports LNG, iron ore, oil and salt from Pilbara ports.

PPA CEO Roger Johnston told DCN it was an honour to travel to Kobe, Japan last week to sign the MoU with Port of Himeji. Western Australian premier Mark McGowan witnessed the signing.

“This MoU, signed in front of the WA premier and Hyogo Prefectural Governor, aims to foster information sharing and collaboration relating to renewable energy initiatives,” Mr Johnston said.

“Pilbara Ports Authority general manager trade and development Lyle Banks accompanied me on this trip, which included visiting the Port of Himeji and meeting with port management to learn about their carbon neutral port initiatives and plans for liquid hydrogen receival and storage.

“I look forward to continuing collaboration efforts, which will include a visit to our ports by delegates from the Port of Himeji later this year, and ongoing information exchange.”

The premier is currently on a trip to Japan and South Korea as part of a state government “mission” to drive investment into Western Australia’s future industries.  

“Western Australia’s ports are the lifeblood of our export industries and will play a key role as we embrace new low-carbon industries and opportunities,” he said.

“The Pilbara has enormous growth potential in renewable hydrogen, ammonia and critical minerals – and this initiative today will help us to work with our Japanese trading partners to drive local jobs in the region.”

Ports minister Rita Saffioti said PPA is well-positioned to provide renewable energy exports to Australia and the world.

“With the Port of Himeji one of the largest importers of LNG exported from PPA ports, an opportunity was identified to explore port infrastructure and initiatives to support decarbonisation,” she said.

“I look forward to seeing the collaboration and sharing of knowledge between the ports as we continue the transition to green energy.”

The Western Australian government said the MoU strengthens the “sister state” relationship established between WA and Hyogo Prefecture in 1981.

Mr Johnston noted climate change is a focus area in PPA’s recently published Sustainability Approach 2023 document, which outlines the port’s goal to reduce emissions by 80% by 2023 and reach net-zero emissions by 2050.