A Japanese consortium anticipates that demand for hydrogen can reach 110k tonnes/year by 2030 in the Chubu region, requiring around US$ 1 billion investment in the necessary infrastructure, H2 Bulletin reports.
The consortium took a cross-sectional approach and studied key end-use sectors in the region. It looked into a potential strategy implementation stage in the region by 2025 with the commercialisation phase in 2030. The study also outlined a possible hydrogen supply chain strategy focusing on import terminal and consumers in Japan’s Chubu region.
The study aimed to assess the potential hydrogen demand in the Chubu region and evaluate its full supply chain based on the imported hydrogen.
The consortium consists of the following companies:
- Air Liquide Japan G.K. (industrial gas supplier)
- Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc. (utility company)
- ENEOS Holdings, Inc. (oil company)
- Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd (oil company)
- Iwatani Corporation (industrial gas supplier)
- Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation (chemical company)
- Nippon Steel Corporation (steelmaker)
- Sumitomo Corporation (trading company)
- Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (a financial company)
- Toho Gas Co., Ltd. (utility company)
- Toyota Motor Corporation (automaker)
The study finds that 110k tonnes/year demand can only be achievable if the hydrogen price reaches the switchable costs in each end-use sector. The assumed price was set at ¥ 30 (US$ 0.28) per Nm3 as per the government’s target price for 2030. However, even with that level of demand at such as lower cost, the negative spread between hydrogen price and switchable costs would reach around ¥ 20 billion (US$ 0.19 billion) annually. Moreover, and initial capital expenditure of ¥ 100 billion (US$ 0.95 billion) would also be needed to build the required infrastructure, such as receiving hydrogen imports, transportation and handling facilities at the end-users sites.
The consortium understands that various key steps need to be taken, including technological development, regulations changes, off-take agreements, stable supply, support for operating cost and capital expenditure.
The consortium expects hydrogen demand in the Chubu region to reach 40,000 tonnes/year in 2025 before reaching 110,000 tonnes/year in 2030. Chita and Yokkaichi will account for 80% of the total Chubu region demand. Looking by the end-user sectors, power and petro-refining and chemical sectors would account for 80% of total demand while the rest would go to mobility and hydrogen refuelling stations which require 99.97% hydrogen purity. The study excluded hydrogen applications in steelmaking and methanation as technological advancement in these areas are likely to start after 2030.
The consortium also deduced that Chita port is an ideal location for developing an import terminal due to high hydrogen demand in the surrounding areas, reaching 64k tonnes in the Chita industrial zone, and 23k tonnes in Yokkaichi industrial zone by 2030. The study also suggested using the existing natural gas pipe network or installing a new hydrogen pipeline to ship imported hydrogen to end-users in the Chita region. However, the imported hydrogen from Chita port can be transported through trucks to end-users in Yokkaichi or other areas.