Fortescue Future Industries Pty Ltd (FFI) and Eneos have agreed to conduct a study on potential business collaboration to develop a green hydrogen supply chain between Japan and Australia.
Under the agreement, FFI will study renewable energy supply and water electrolysis cells for hydrogen production, while Eneos will be responsible for more efficient production of methylcyclohexane (MCH) and maritime transport of MCH as a form of hydrogen storage and transport from Australia to Japan.
The hydrogen will be converted to methylcyclohexane (MCH) for shipping to Japan by tankers. Receipt, storage, and dehydrogenation of MCH will be conducted at Eneos refineries. Hydrogen can also be supplied for industrial use at nearby thermal power plants, steel refineries, etc. Toluene separated in the dehydrogenation process would be sent back for recycling to Australia as a raw material in MCH production. Eneos will offer its infrastructure, including tankers, storage tanks and dehydrogenation facilities, enabling the hydrogen supply chain.
Eneos is trying to build a CO2-free hydrogen supply chain through partnerships with other leading companies in Japan and overseas. Eneos has also recently agreed with Origin Energy and Petronas to build a hydrogen supply chain.
FFI, a subsidiary of one of the world’s largest iron ore producers Fortescue Metals Group Ltd, is also keen on developing a green hydrogen business with a number of partnerships signed to investigate the supply of 100% renewable green hydrogen.
Western Australia accounts for one-third of the Australian continent and has vast land available for large-scale development of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power. Renewable energy is the key cost component in producing green hydrogen. The state is promoting its renewable energy potential to realize the most cost-competitive power supply in the future. The state government has also announced its support for the hydrogen industry as a part of its policies to grow green hydrogen production and export businesses further using its abundant renewable energy resources.