THREE Japanese shipping companies are partnering with a company set up to establish a global liquefied hydrogen supply chain that involves export from Australia.

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, NYK, K Line have agreed to join JSE Ocean, a company launched in January this year to research the marine transportation of LH2 using a large-scale LH2 carrier.

JSE Ocean is a subsidiary of Japan Suiso Energy, which is leading the Liquefied Hydrogen Supply Chain Commercialization Demonstration Project.

JSE remains the majority shareholder with 50.2% of stock, while the shipping companies hold 16.6% each.

“The expectation for hydrogen as a clean energy is increasing worldwide as we strive to achieve a decarbonised society,” MOL said in a statement.

“Japan’s Basic Hydrogen Strategy, revised by the Japanese government in June 2023, identifies hydrogen as the alternative to fossil fuels as it targets decarbonisation.

“In the strategy, Japan commits to a target of 3 million tons per year of hydrogen by 2030, 12 million tons per year by 2040, and 20 million tons per year by 2050.”

The target hydrogen supply cost is around ¥30 per normal cubic metre in 2030 and ¥20 per normal cubic metre in 2050 (around $0.31 and $0.21, respectively) at the point of arrival in Japan.

“To achieve these price and volume targets, and create a secure global supply chain, transport by ship is crucial,” MOL said.

In August 2021, Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organisation (NEDO), allocated a grant from the Japanese government’s Green Innovation Fund to JSE, and corporations Iwatani and ENEOS for the Liquefied Hydrogen Supply Chain Commercialization Demonstration Project.

As part of the project JSE hopes to establish the world’s first large-scale hydrogen liquefaction and transportation technology, involving an initial 30,000 tons of hydrogen per year before upscaling.

JSE also plans to demonstrate a comprehensive and reliable global liquefied hydrogen supply chain, covering hydrogen production, liquefaction, export from Australia, marine transportation and import.