Itochu Corporation today (24th February), a Japanese trading company, said that it would start developing a local hydrogen production for local consumption in northern Kyushu, Japan.
The company will partner with the Japanese manufacture of coke and coal, Nippon Coke & Engineering Company and Belgian maritime company Compagnie Maritime Belge B.V. (CMB). The three companies will work together to assess the demand and supply balances, and following all the approval, they would launch the supply chain operation by 2023.
Itochu has been dealing with primary energy products and has strong business relationships with steel mills and power utilities, which will be potential hydrogen consumers.
Nippon Coke is currently not extracting hydrogen from the other by-product gases generated in their cokes business. Hydrogen produced from coke is black hydrogen and is not considered green, as it is extracted from coal. As part of the project, Nippon Coke would produce hydrogen as a by-product during its coke making process at its Kitakyushu Coking Works.
CMB has a presence in Japan for around 40 years has a strong business relationship with shipyards, merchants, and ship owners in Japan. It has developed the world’s first hydrogen mixed combustion engine for ships and has been performing trial ship operations in Europe since 2017. This year, it is planning a passenger ship with a hydrogen engine in the Setouchi area, Japan.