Hydrogen News from Asian Countries – Nov. 2023

China’s Hydrogen Strategy: National vs. Regional Plans

OCTOBER 31, 2023

While the US and European medias have dedicated significant bandwidth to the topic of low-carbon hydrogen in the United States and Europe, they have reported far less on unfolding developments around that topic in China. This disparity is especially notable because China stands as the foremost global player in hydrogen production and consumption.[1] The country’s substantial market size and extensive industrial infrastructure not only facilitate fast technological advancements in the hydrogen space, but also offer the potential to achieve economies of scale—two developments that can significantly influence the global hydrogen market landscape. In light of these circumstances, it is essential to understand China’s hydrogen strategy, including how the country plans to start decarbonizing its current hydrogen consumption and expand future use and production.

A notable feature of China’s hydrogen strategy is that it is not, in fact, singular, but instead comprised of a national strategy and a multitude of regional strategies. Since the release of China’s Medium and Long-Term Strategy for the Development of the Hydrogen Energy Industry (2021–2035)(referred to as “the National Plan”) in March 2022,[2] there has been significant development in the country’s hydrogen space. However, the National Plan’stargets for renewable hydrogen production may appear conservative given the scale of hydrogen consumption in the country: a range of 100,000 to 200,000 tons per year by 2025 represents only 0.3 to 0.6 percent of the 33 million tons (Mt) of fossil-based hydrogen consumed in China in 2020.[3] (For context, in 2022, electrolytic hydrogen’s production level was still below 100,000 tons globally, and as of early 2023 about 4.5 Mt of renewable hydrogen globally by 2025 has been committed to, planned, and announced.[4] Some regions appear more bullish, including the EU with its aspirational renewable hydrogen target of up to 1 Mt by 2024.[5]) By contrast, provinces, cities, and municipalities across China have introduced their own hydrogen development plans that establish far more ambitious renewable hydrogen goals. Hence, the provincial plans viewed together may offer a more accurate picture of China’s hydrogen industry over the coming decades than the National Plan.

This commentary analyzes these somewhat divergent national and local hydrogen strategies comparatively to provide a nuanced understanding of China’s evolving hydrogen landscape. (for details please follow the link below)


Will China Become a Hydrogen Importer?

Blog by Anne-Sophie Corbeau & Yushan Lou • November 9, 2023

As the world moves along the path of decarbonization, trade in energy is expected to evolve and eventually shift to new commodities and technologies,  including critical minerals and hydrogen.[1] Much has been written about China’s significant role in the critical minerals value chains. But reflections regarding its role in the hydrogen space are mostly limited to analyses of China’s current and future manufacturing capacity—likely the world’s largest—of electrolyzers.[2] Much less consideration has been given to China’s future role in global hydrogen trade—whether it would take off and what its impact on investments, geopolitics, and interactions with potential trade partners might be. In this article, the authors assess China’s prospects for becoming a hydrogen importer. (for details please follow the link below)


China’s first hydrogen fuel cell ship completes maiden voyage

2023 October 12

The hydrogen fuel cell power demonstration ship Sanxia Qingzhou 1 (Three Gorges Hydrogen Boat No 1) completed its maiden voyage at the Three Gorges Visitor Center (Wharf 9) in Yichang, Hubei province, on the morning of Oct 11, 2023, marking a breakthrough in the application of hydrogen fuel cell technology in inland vessels, according to China Daily. 

It is estimated that the hydrogen powered ship is expected to save 103.16 tons of fuel oil per year and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 343.67 metric tons compared with traditional oil-powered ships.

The hydrogen powered ship has a steel and aluminum composite structure, with a total length of 49.9 meters, a width of 10.4 meters and a depth of 3.2 meters. Its hydrogen fuel cell rated output power is 500 kilowatts, realizing an endurance of up to 200 kilometers. 

After delivery, the ship will be responsible for traffic, inspection, emergency and other work in the Three Gorges reservoir area and river section between the Three Gorges and Gezhou Dam. (for details please follow the link below)


Sinopec’s first green hydrogen plant starts production in Xinjiang

Reuters June 30, 2023

BEIJING, June 30 (Reuters) – China’s Sinopec (600028.SS), has begun producing green hydrogen at a plant in the western region of Xinjiang, the company said on Friday.

Sinopec’s first green hydrogen facility has the capacity to produce 20,000 metric tons of hydrogen a year, using solar power to electrolyse water, the company said in a statement.

The plant, in Kuqa city in Xinjiang, is China’s first solar green hydrogen facility with a annual capacity of more than 10,000 metric tons, the company said. That would make it the largest green hydrogen facility operating in the country. China and other countries are racing to develop green hydrogen – produced using renewable power to split water into hydrogen and oxygen – as a crucial source of fuel with no carbon emissions to help limit climate change.

China’s state planner last year announced a target to produce 100,000 to 200,000 metric tons of green hydrogen a year by 2025.

Sinopec’s facility, along with its production capacity, has hydrogen storage capacity of 210,000 cubic metres and transmission capacity of 28,000 cubic metres per hour, the company said. Hydrogen produced at the facility will be supplied to Sinopec’s Tahe refinery to replace hydrogen produced from natural gas. Sinopec began construction of the plant in November 2021, with an initial investment of about 3 billion yuan ($414 million). In February, the company launched construction of a 30,000 metric ton green hydrogen demonstration project in Inner Mongolia and announced plans to build a 400 km pipeline from Inner Mongolia to the capital, Beijing, to transport hydrogen. (for details please follow the link below)


China’s largest photovoltaic-based hydrogen production project put into operation


China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec Group), China’s major oil refiner, announced on August 30 that the country’s largest photovoltaic-based hydrogen production project has been put into operation in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

All the solar panels of the photovoltaic power station have been installed as of August 30, and the plant, with an area equivalent to more than 900 football fields, has been connected to the grid at full capacity. (for details please follow the link below)


China’s Goldwind claims shipping industry’s ‘first major green methanol supply deal’ with Maersk

Wind group says offtake agreement to enable FID on facility in northeast China

22 November 2023

Chinese wind giant Goldwind has nailed down what’s claimed as the global shipping industry’s first large-scale offtake agreement for green methanol after signing a deal with Maersk.

Maersk will from 2026 take 500,000 tonnes a year of the green fuel, which will be manufactured with the aid of green hydrogen produced from wind power at a new plant planned by Goldwind in Hinggang League, northeast China. (for details please follow the link below)


PGI in Action—China: Proposing Solutions Aligned to Social Issues & Trends

Nov 17, 2023

Taking Up the Challenge of Decarbonization in China

Panasonic believes that contributing to decarbonization in China, one of the world’s largest emitters of CO2, can have a significant positive impact on efforts to maintain a green planet on a global level.

According to the latest International Energy Agency data, energy-related emissions in China were relatively flat between 2021 and 2022, decreasing by 0.2 percent (or 23 megatons) to approximately 12.1 gigatons. The overall yearly decline was the first since structural reforms drove emissions lower in 2015. Complementing efforts by government and industry to promote decarbonization, people in general are becoming increasingly more concerned about environmental issues. According to the “National Ecological and Environmental Survey Report (2022)” published in June 2023, the percentage of people surveyed who frequently pay attention to environmental information has increased from 60.8 percent in 2019 to 78.3 percent, and a majority of people are now practicing green consumption and energy and resource conservation in their daily lives.

In 2021, China announced new decarbonization targets, seeking to cap peak carbon emissions in 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality in 2060. “From a broader social perspective, accomplishing these very ambitious goals is a matter of great concern for both foreign and Chinese companies alike,” said Tetsuro Homma, Group Chief Executive for China & Northeast Asia (CNA). The next year, Panasonic Group announced its own global environmental vision, Panasonic GREEN IMPACT (PGI), and since then has been actively working to implement PGI initiatives to address environmental and social problems in China.

For this latest installment in this series of PGI in Action regional updates, Panasonic Newsroom Global caught up with leaders at CNA to learn more about the organization’s approach to implementing decarbonization initiatives in the Chinese market. (for details please follow the link below)


Signal: China issues guidelines on hydrogen ahead of industry boom

The guidelines are aimed at helping to develop the industry and in turn China’s already growing alternative energy sector.

August 16, 2023

China has released its first national-level guidelines for standards within the hydrogen industry amid its already accelerating growth and in advance of a vast ramp-up through 2035.

The guidelines, announced last week by the country’s State Administration for Market Regulation, cover the production, storage, transport and use of hydrogen energy. They are aimed at helping to develop the industry.

    “The country is set to add large capacity through its around 35 upcoming green hydrogen projects.” (for details please follow the link below)


Egyptian-German-Chinese Coalition to Manufacture Hydrogen Production Electrolyzer Units

1 August 2023

Chairman of the Board of Directors of the GV Investment Group Egypt, Sherif Hammouda stated Tuesday that his company is ready to be part of a coalition between two, German and Chinese, clean energy production companies.

The coalition seeks to launch a project to manufacture electrolyzer units that produce green hydrogen, in the Egyptian industrial city of Tarbol, with a capital of $100 million. In his statements to Asharq Al-Awsat, Hammouda announced that the production capacity of the project would reach 500 megawatts in order to “increase energy alternatives across the Republic”. (for details please follow the link below)


Governor Newsom Visits China’s Greater Bay Area

Published: Oct 24, 2023

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Governor Newsom’s weeklong trip to China continued Tuesday with a tour of the world’s first zero-emission municipal bus fleet and a new climate partnership with the Province of Guangdong.

GUANGZHOU – Governor Gavin Newsom spent Tuesday in a region known as China’s Greater Bay Area – a megalopolis of millions of people consisting of Hong Kong, Macao and nine major cities – where he visited the world’s first zero-emission city bus fleet and California signed a new climate partnership with the Guangdong Province. (for details please follow the link below)


Japan, South Korea to set up joint hydrogen, ammonia supply network – Nikkei

November 10, 2023, TOKYO (Reuters) –

Japan and South Korea will establish a joint supply network for carbon-neutral fuels such as hydrogen and ammonia, the Nikkei business daily reported on Friday.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol will announce the framework on Nov. 17 in the United States, where they are expected to join the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting, the paper said.

Japan and South Korea, both highly dependent on energy imports, plan to work together to negotiate prices and volumes, Nikkei said, and state-backed financial institutions would help companies to raise funds for hydrogen and ammonia projects outside Japan and South Korea.

No comment was immediately available from Japan’s trade ministry.

Japan’s Kishida visited the Middle East in July to promote cooperation in green and renewable energy, including hydrogen and ammonia supplies, which Japan wants to play a greater role in its energy mix to cut fossil fuel use.


Japan’s Okinawa Elec plans to trial using hydrogen at gas-fired power plant

Reuters, November 17, 2023

 Japan’s Okinawa Electric Power (9511.T) plans to start co-firing hydrogen on a trial basis at a commercial gas-fired power plant from March in a bid to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, its president said on Friday.

The utility aims to achieve a hydrogen co-firing rate of 30% at the 35 megawatt (MW) unit of its Yoshinoura thermal power station in the southern island of Okinawa. The trial is scheduled to run until sometime between April and September. (for details please follow the link below)


Analysis  Hydrogen Electric Vehicles Asia Japan

Japan’s bet on hydrogen is still unwavering despite decades of lackluster progress

October 25, 2023

Industrial countries in Asia, such as Japan and South Korea, have their own ways of pursuing energy transition that cater to their circumstances. Power supply chains with neighboring states and domestic energy resources are not luxuries available to every country, so other developed nations should look at individual cases judiciously.

Such is the general narrative in response to criticism of how Japan and South Korea have gone about reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

Indeed, both countries face specific challenges, being the fifth and eighth largest energy consumers globally while depending primarily on imported fuel. In 2020, Japan had an energy self-sufficiency ratio of 11% and South Korea, 19%, both supported by domestic nuclear power and, to a lesser extent, renewables.

This is where hydrogen has entered the picture, along with ammonia and other associated products (collectively referred to as “hydrogen” in this commentary). As newer market entrants, these fuels are without a doubt subject to heavy influence from major domestic industries. (for details please follow the link below) 


Yanmar Makes First Delivery of Maritime Hydrogen Fuel Cell System to Hybrid Passenger Ship

November 9, 2023

Osaka, Japan (November 9, 2023) – Yanmar Power Technology Co., Ltd. (Yanmar PT), a subsidiary of Yanmar Holdings Co., Ltd, has made its first delivery of its newly commercialized maritime hydrogen fuel cell system, introduced in August 2023. This system was supplied to the passenger ship HANARIA, operated by MOTENA-Sea, a company backed by Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. and other investors.

The HANARIA, Japan’s first hybrid passenger ship to use both hydrogen and biodiesel, represents a significant breakthrough in achieving carbon neutrality. This innovative vessel operates with an onboard electric propulsion system that powers the ship’s drive using generated electricity. Yanmar PT took charge of the ship’s comprehensive power system design, incorporating two hydrogen fuel cells, batteries, biodiesel generators, power management system, propulsion equipment, remote monitoring, and other elements.

In addition, when running solely on the hydrogen fuel cell system and batteries, the ship creates zero emissions, with notable reductions in power source vibrations and noise, and the elimination of exhaust gas odors, contributing towards a pleasant onboard environment.

The Yanmar Group is advancing the YANMAR GREEN CHALLENGE 2050 to realize a sustainable society. Yanmar PT will continue to provide environmentally friendly solutions to support its customers’ decarbonization efforts.

About Yanmar

With beginnings in Osaka, Japan, in 1912, Yanmar was the first ever to succeed in making a compact diesel engine of a practical size in 1933. A pioneer in diesel engine technology, Yanmar is a global innovator in a wide range of industrial equipment, from small and large engines, agricultural machinery and facilities, construction equipment, energy systems, marine, to machine tools, and components — Yanmar’s global business operations span seven domains. On land, at sea, and in the city, Yanmar provides advanced solutions to the challenges customers face, towards realizing A Sustainable Future.


Three Japanese Shipping Companies Partner to Establish Global Liquefied Hydrogen Supply Chain

Sep. 26, 2023

On September 12 2023, Japan Suiso Energy, Ltd. (JSE)*, and three Japanese shipping companies, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. (“K”LINE), Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL), and Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK), have agreed to join JSE Ocean, Ltd. (JSE Ocean), a subsidiary of JSE. JSE remains the majority shareholder with 50.2% of stock, whilst the shipping companies hold 16.6% each.

Hydrogen in Japan

The expectation for hydrogen as a clean energy is increasing worldwide as we strive to achieve a decarbonized society. 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/year of hydrogen by 2030, 12 million tons/year by 2040, and 20 million tons/year by 2050.

The target hydrogen supply cost is approximately JPY30 /Nm3 in 2030 and JPY20 /Nm3 in 2050 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.


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, Iwatani Corporation and ENEOS Corporation for the “Liquefied Hydrogen Supply Chain Commercialization Demonstration Project”.

In this project, JSE will 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 will also demonstrate a comprehensive and reliable global liquefied hydrogen (LH2) supply chain, covering hydrogen production, liquefaction, export from Australia, marine transportation, and import.

About JSE Ocean

JSE Ocean was established in January 2023 to research the marine transportation of LH2 by using a large-scale LH2 carrier. JSE, and the three Japanese shipping companies with extensive knowledge and experience in the energy transport business, will establish the marine transport of LH2 at a commercial scale through JSE Ocean.
We will collaborate to explore the safety and efficient operation of the world’s first large-scale LH2 carrier by 2024, as well as develop a viable marine transportation business scheme. Furthermore, the LH2 carrier will be powered by hydrogen, significantly reducing CO2 emissions during operation.

* JSE was established in June 2021 with the main objectives of research, planning, management, and investment in the international supply chain of LH2. Current shareholder composition is Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. 66.6% Iwatani Corporation 33.4%.


Japan looks to the Gulf as it bets big on hydrogen

August 9, 2023

Japan’s economy, which was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, emerged from recession and grew more rapidly than expected in the first half of 2023, thanks mainly to robust domestic consumption. But more recently, overseas demand has slackened, clouding the outlook for the country’s export-reliant economy. Meanwhile, the global surge in energy prices triggered by the February 2022 invasion of Ukraine has dealt a particularly serious blow to Japan, creating new urgency around the task of securing stable energy supplies while simultaneously striving to produce a virtuous cycle between economic growth and environmental protection.  

Japan has pledged to be carbon neutral by 2050. To achieve this ambitious goal, its Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) has drawn up a new Green Growth Strategy that includes support for carbon-reducing innovations in key industrial fields in the form of a 2 trillion yen ($19 billion) Green Innovation Fund. Hydrogen is expected to play a key role in Japan’s clean energy transition, as is carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) given the country’s heavy reliance on fossil fuels.

METI’s strategy, which aims to substantially increase the country’s hydrogen market, relies on sourcing blue and green hydrogen from stable, low-cost producers around the world, transporting it back to Japan using hydrocarbons, ammonia, or methane as energy carriers. This will require strengthening ties with potential hydrogen exporting countries.

As a trailblazer in hydrogen diplomacy, Japan is seeking to develop a new pattern of energy interdependence with its longstanding partners, the Gulf Arab states — countries that are promising production bases for and exporters of green hydrogen and ammonia, and whose leaders have come to regard the development of clean hydrogen as an attractive way to diversify their economies.

Japan’s energy security challenges and “green transformation”

Japan faces fundamental energy security challenges as an island country with sparse natural resource endowments and no international pipelines or electricity connections. The country’s potential to expand its renewable energy capabilities is limited. Fossil fuels — oil (37%), coal (27%), and gas (20%) — constitute the lion’s share of Japan’s total energy consumption.

Having no notable domestic production, Japan is heavily dependent on imported crude oil and liquefied gas, much of which is sourced from the Middle East. The region accounted for over 94% of Japan’s oil imports in 2022, most of which was supplied by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates; and 10% of the country’s gas imports, mainly from Qatar. Russia’s war on Ukraine has deepened Japanese concerns about energy security, upending Tokyo’s plans to position Russia as a strategic energy supplier to reduce its heavy reliance on the Middle East.

Given these circumstances, not to mention concerns about China’s increasing engagement with the region, Tokyo is doubling down on efforts to position itself as a valued, reliable partner of the Gulf Arab countries, forging “green alliances” with them that leverage Japan’s competitiveness in low-carbon technologies.

Japanese leaders have portrayed the path to decarbonization as both a challenge and an opportunity for growth. But achieving the aim of carbon neutrality by 2050 will require Tokyo to accelerate the deployment of low-carbon technologies. Last February, amid the heightened energy risks after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s administration issued the GX (“Green Transformation”) Basic Policy.

The GX policy relies heavily on blue hydrogenammonia co-firing, coal gasification, carbon capture and storage (CCS), and natural gas to bridge the country’s transition to renewable energy. In December 2022, METI compiled an interim arrangement plan to establish a supply chain system by around 2030 with a view to expanding the use of hydrogen and ammonia in the country.

Japan is betting big on hydrogen. In June, the Japanese government adopted a revision of its Basic Hydrogen Strategy centered on increasing the use of hydrogen as fuel, laying out plans to invest more than $100 billion in hydrogen supplies over the next 15 years. To achieve its aim of increasing hydrogen use, Tokyo is seeking to establish international supply chains to import decarbonized energy by sea. The Japanese government also plans to enact new legislation to financially support industries that are involved in the production and establishment of hydrogen and ammonia supply chains, as well as the development of relevant infrastructure.

The Basic Strategy identifies five specific areas where Japanese companies have advantages over their global competitors in terms of cutting-edge technology: hydrogen production and the hydrogen supply chain; decarbonized power generation; fuel cells; hydrogen use, including iron/steel, chemical products, and hydrogen-fueled vessels; and hydrogen compounds, including fuel ammonia and carbon-recycle products. Spurred on by government support, Japanese conglomerates are working to accelerate development of hydrogen-fueled power generation, carbon capture, and solid-state battery technologies.

While the green hydrogen supply chain is being developed, blue hydrogen will be key to Japan’s energy transition. The new strategy’s designation of ammonia as a low-carbon energy source alongside gas has drawn heavy criticism from environmentalists and some Japanese officials. Price of Oil International portrayed the GX policy as “an exercise in greenwashing designed to benefit Japanese corporate interests.” Yet, Tokyo is undeterred, and Japan’s collaboration with Gulf countries on hydrogen is a marriage in the making.

Gulf Arab states and the hydrogen economy

recent study by Rethink Energy Research projects that the hydrogen market will result in one of the largest ever disruptions to the energy sector. Ranking among the world’s lowest-cost producers of oil, natural gas, and renewables, the Gulf Arab countries are well situated to produce competitive blue and green hydrogen. They also have the port facilities and other infrastructure needed to export hydrogen. According to the International Energy Agency’s global assessment of announced hydrogen projects as of end 2022, besides Saudi Arabia and the UAE, Oman is among the top candidates for producing and exporting hydrogen and could become the largest exporter of the fuel in the Middle East this decade.

The Gulf Arab states have warmed to the idea that they might be able to establish themselves as key suppliers in the nascent hydrogen industry. In October 2021, for example, Saudi Arabia’s minister of energy, Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud, announced the goal of becoming the world’s largest hydrogen producer and, while building on existing infrastructure and know-how, simultaneously advance the decarbonization of exports. In July, the UAE Cabinet approved the National Hydrogen Strategy, which aims to accelerate the growth of the hydrogen economy and establish the Emirates as a leading producer of low-carbon hydrogen by 2031. Late last year, Oman issued a Strategy on Green Hydrogen that foresees $140 billion in investment by 2050 and created a central and independent entity (Hydrom) to steer the accelerated development of the hydrogen sector.

The region’s first large-scale hydrogen projects are in the advanced planning and/or implementation stages. Qatar has launched a project to build the world’s largest blue ammonia production facility. Saudi Arabia’s Green Initiative envisions the substantial development of green hydrogen and green ammonia production centered around NEOM. If fully implemented, the project would set up the world’s largest utility green hydrogen facility. The UAE is also developing green hydrogen within its borders and abroad, mainly through Masdar. In January, the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) formed an alliance with the UAE’s ADQ and Mubadala Investment to explore the adoption and use of hydrogen in utilities, mobility, and industries. Oman recently signed six agreements with international developers to build integrated H2 projects.

Gulf Arab countries are already managing to produce hydrogen economically. According to a report issued by Bain & Company in June, the cost to produce green hydrogen in the region could drop as low as $1 per kilogram by 2035. Meanwhile, the Gulf states can produce blue hydrogen as a transitional variety at a low cost to seed the market, as they pursue ambitious plans to meet growing demand in Europe and the Asia-Pacific, including Japan. But Gulf nations need outside assistance to bring their hydrogen strategies to fruition — that is, to develop the requisite infrastructure to improve supply chain economics for the supply of H2 to their target green hydrogen export markets.

Japan and the Gulf: Toward a new pattern of energy interdependence

An analysis published last year by the International Renewable Energy Agency stated that the rapid growth of the hydrogen economy could spawn new patterns of interdependence. Japan and the Gulf Arab states are well matched to develop these new patterns, and there is mounting evidence of a mutual interest in doing so.

According to METI’s Strategic Road Map for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells published in March 2019, the Japanese government’s efforts to establish the global hydrogen supply chain include enhancing government-level relationships with countries with rich renewable resources, such as the Middle East’s oil and gas producers.

In September 2020, the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan and Saudi Aramco, in partnership with SABIC, Mitsui, and Japan Oil Company, collaborated to produce and ship the first cargo of blue ammonia from the kingdom to Japan for use in zero-carbon power generation. This pioneering endeavor spanned the full value chain, including the conversion of hydrocarbons to hydrogen and then to ammonia, as well as the capture of associated CO2. Six months later, Japan’s largest refiner, ENEOS Corporation, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU)  with Aramco to consider development of a CO2-free hydrogen and ammonia supply chain. In July, JERA Co., Inc. (JERA), Japan’s biggest power generation company, signed an MoU with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) to develop green hydrogen projects and derivatives jointly; and Japan’s Marubeni Corporation reached an agreement with the PIF to conduct a feasibility study for producing clean hydrogen for both domestic and international markets. The first shipment of low-carbon ammonia produced by SABIC with feedstock from Aramco and purchased by Fuji Oil Co. arrived in Japan this past April.

Japan and the UAE, too, are pursuing joint efforts to enhance industrial cooperation and drive new opportunities in hydrogen and renewables. In 2021, INPEX Corporation (INPEX), JERA, and a government agency, the Japan Oil, Gas, and Metals National Corporation, forged a joint study agreement with ADNOC to explore the commercial potential of blue ammonia production in the UAE. Also in 2021, Japan’s INPEX, Idemitsu, and Itochu purchased cargoes of blue ammonia from ADNOC. More recently, Japan’s Mitsui, along with South Korea’s GS Energy, agreed to take stakes in a blue ammonia plant being developed at Ruwais, joining with ENEOS and ADNOC to evaluate the development of a commercial clean hydrogen supply chain between the UAE and Japan. In January, METI and ADNOC established the Japan-UAE Collaboration Scheme for Advanced Technology, which includes collaboration on decarbonization technologies.

Japanese companies are also involved in the H2 sector in Oman, which like Saudi Arabia and the UAE, has its sights set on becoming a Middle East leader in hydrogen. Sumitomo Corporation has teamed up with ARA Petroleum, which is striving to become a carbon-neutral hydrocarbon producer, to develop a hydrogen production facility in the sultanate. Japanese heavy engineering manufacturer IHI Corporation has joined forces with Indian green energy developer ACME Group, based in Oman, to explore participation in green ammonia production projects.

The current Japanese government is fully committed to developing emerging energy options, and to leveraging the country’s competitive advantage in clean energy technologies to strengthen ties with its vitally important energy suppliers in the Gulf. Prime Minister Kishida’s visit to the region in July was aimed at securing stable oil and gas supplies, as well as boosting Japan-Gulf cooperation in hydrogen and other renewables. While in Jeddah and Abu Dhabi, he signed a slew of agreements to develop clean hydrogen, ammonia, and recycled carbon fuels. In addition, Japan and Saudi Arabia announced a new joint effort, the “Manar” initiative, which features a range of projects that drive the transition to clean energy, focusing on areas such as hydrogen and ammonia technologies; and launched the Lighthouse Initiative for Clean Energy Cooperation, aimed at supporting the kingdom’s ongoing efforts to become a hub for clean energy. Prior to his arrival in the UAE, Prime Minister Kishida said in an open letter that he planned to offer Japan’s “cutting-edge decarbonization technologies” as part of a green energy initiative for the Middle East, under which Tokyo and Abu Dhabi will cooperate in the fields of “hydrogen and ammonia production and utilization as well as carbon recycling.”


Japanese and Gulf Arab leaders alike have underscored the need to adopt “realistic” approaches to carbon neutrality. They share the view that hydrogen has high potential as a driver of economic growth and as an effective climate solution and are taking steps to strengthen cooperation on decarbonization, including joining forces to accelerate the development of green hydrogen. Thus, they are laying the groundwork for a new pattern of energy interdependence.


Renewables and hydrogen highlighted for Türkiye-Japan cooperation: Japan’s ambassador

– Bilateral relations can also be improved in mining sector, Takahiko Katsumata, ambassador of Japan says


Hydrogen and renewable energy are promising areas for bilateral cooperation between Türkiye and Japan, the ambassador of Japan to Ankara, Takahiko Katsumata, told Anadolu in an exclusive interview.

Japan is one of the nations considered for the initiative to build Türkiye’s second nuclear power station in Sinop, a province near the Black Sea. In addition to potential collaboration on a large-scale nuclear power project, both nations are also anticipated to work together on smaller-scale clean energy projects.

Türkiye’s Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Alparslan Bayraktar, and Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Nishimura Yasutoshi, met in Istanbul on Sept. 5 to evaluate potential partnerships between the two countries.

During the meeting, Bayraktar and Yasutoshi discussed various topics, including critical minerals, renewable energy, energy efficiency, natural gas and new fuels and technologies.

Katsumata confirmed that in order to develop opportunities in critical minerals, a concrete roadmap would be determined under the coordination of both countries’ officials.

Katsumata also noted the similarities that Türkiye and Japan share, given that both are dependent on energy imports, and suggested that relations could be improved in the mining sector.

‘I think there is an extremely wide range of areas in which we can cooperate with Türkiye. I believe that hydrogen, as well as new generation energy and renewable energy, can be promising areas for the future,’ he said.


Japan commits $104 bn to hydrogen supply over 15 years

24 August 2023

Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) introduced an updated version of its foundational hydrogen strategy in June 2023. This new strategy delineates crucial investment categories and domains while designating eight locations within… (for details please follow the link below)


The Hydrogen Stream: Japan backs hydrogen in aviation

The Japanese government has confirmed to pv magazine that it is launching a new support scheme for hydrogen in aviation, while Japanese investors continue to actively pursue participation in a green ammonia project in South Africa.

OCTOBER 13, 2023

Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) plans to allocate JPY 30.6 billion ($205 million) of public funds for hydrogen projects in aviation. “METI will start a project to develop a hydrogen fuel-cell propulsion system and power management system for MEA (More Electric Aircraft),” a METI spokesperson told pv magazine. The ministry said it is its second project to develop core technology for next-generation aircraft. It has earmarked JPY 17.3 billion for hydrogen fuel cell system development for aircraft, and JPY 13.3 billion to support projects related to fuel-saving engine control technology. Japan’s hydrogen support initiatives prioritize large-scale supply chains and infrastructure development, with a combined investment of more than JPY 15 trillion expected from the public and private sectors over the next 15 years, the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy said in June.

Hive Energy UK is progressing with the first phase of South Africa’s $5.8 billion green ammonia project in Coega, Nelson Mandela Bay, with commissioning scheduled for 2028. This initiative aims to supply more than 900,000 tons of green ammonia per year to Japan, Korea, and Europe in four phases. Hive Energy UK expresses confidence that its green ammonia pricing for pre-2030 deliveries will be among the most competitive globally. The project has piqued the interest of Japanese investors conducting due diligence to secure a stake in the Coega green ammonia project and secure an offtake supply. The project features a 1,200 MW electrolyzer capacity and 3.6 GW of solar and wind.

Lhyfe has started building Germany’s largest commercial green hydrogen production plant in Schwäbisch Gmünd. With an expected commissioning date in the second half of 2024, the project will use renewable electricity obtained through hydro, wind, and solar power purchase agreements. The French hydrogen producer will have a capacity to produce up to 4 tons of green hydrogen per day, equivalent to around 1,000 tonnes annually, based on its 10 MW of installed capacity in Baden-Württemberg.


The Hydrogen Stream: Japan invests in hydrogen

Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK) has approved a hydrogen-powered multi-purpose vessel in Japan, while Toyota has decided to use fuel cell coaches for transport during the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

OCTOBER 20, 2023

 H2 Mobility Deutschland has inaugurated hydrogen charging stations in Dresden and Berg, near Hof, using hydrogen from Rießner Gase produced through PEM electrolysis powered by solar and wind energy. The hydrogen production plant in the Wunsiedel energy park, in collaboration with the Wunsiedel municipal company and Siemens, is Bavaria’s largest, currently producing 960 tons of hydrogen per year, with plans for a second expansion phase to increase the electrolyzer’s capacity to 17.5 MW.

Protium and its partners have secured over GBP 30 million ($36.5 million) from the Department for Transport and Innovate UK to initiate the Hydrogen Aggregated UK Logistics (HyHAUL) project, which focuses on accelerating hydrogen adoption in the mobility sector, particularly in heavy goods vehicle (HGV) fleets. By 2026, HyHAUL plans to introduce 30 hydrogen fuel cell HGVs to haulage operators, with a further goal of deploying 300 vehicles by 2030.

Wood Mackenzie says that the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) $7 billion investment across seven Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs (H2Hubs) marks a significant step toward establishing a low-carbon hydrogen economy but is just the initial stage. The hubs’ combined production would only contribute 30% to the 10 Mtpa hydrogen supply capacity goal if fully developed, and not all hubs are expected to reach full development by 2030. Each hub has received an initial $20 million for developing detailed project plans over the next 12 to 18 months, with the allocated funding to be disbursed in stages over the next 8 to 12 years.

The Atlantic Council says that the DOE’s announcement represents the most substantial public investment in US hydrogen and noted that California and Texas are the hubs of clean hydrogen activities, with a future outlook for blue hydrogen. However, the council mentioned a missed opportunity for hydrogen use in long-haul trucking. To address this, the Atlantic Council made recommendations for policymakers, suggesting a focus on cost sharing for demand-side projects within the H2Hub funding derived from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Air Liquide has become a partner for six of the seven Hubs supported by the US government, strengthening its commitment to building a robust hydrogen network in the industry. The French industrial gases company aims to scale up its hydrogen initiatives with these partnerships, supporting the expansion of hydrogen infrastructure. Air Liquide has participated as a partner or supporter in these endeavors.

ClassNK has granted Approval in Principle (AiP) to a Multi-Purpose Vessel concept powered by hydrogen, with Mitsui O.S.K Lines (MOL), Onomichi Dockyard, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, and Japan Engine Corporation conducting the risk assessment. MOL stated this marks the first AiP certification for a ship equipped with a low-speed two-stroke hydrogen-fueled engine as the main propulsion engine, and a two-year demonstration operation is planned from around FY2027.

Toyota plans to use converted fuel cell coaches to transport over 5,000 visitors during the Olympic and Paralympic Games Paris 2024 as part of its guest program. After the Games, these hydrogen coaches will continue their service cycle, benefiting public and private customers in the Ile de France region as a Paris 2024 legacy. Toyota will supply hydrogen fuel cell modules for the conversion of ten used Iveco coaches.

Mabanaft has signed an agreement with Fairplay Towage Group, a tugboat operator, to supply hydrogen to their new tugs in the Port of Hamburg starting in 2025, supporting the maritime industry’s shift toward sustainable technologies.


Toyota, Toyota Tsusho, and Mitsubishi Kakoki to Introduce Thailand’s First Biogas-Derived Hydrogen Production Equipment, Operation to Begin in 2023- Biogas derived from chicken manure and food waste  

2023-06-26neutrality in Thailand –

Toyota City, Japan, June 26, 2023―Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota), Toyota Tsusho Corporation (Toyota Tsusho), and Mitsubishi Kakoki Kaisha, Ltd. (Mitsubishi Kakoki) will introduce biogas-derived hydrogen production equipment for the first time in Thailand.

The hydrogen production equipment to be introduced will be manufactured by Mitsubishi Kakoki and installed in Thailand in November 2023 to produce hydrogen from biogas derived from local chicken manure and food waste. Toyota and Toyota Tsusho will cooperate on hydrogen production to consider the construction and introduction of an overall system for the compression, storage, and transportation of biogas and hydrogen, as well as the establishment of an operating system.

Furthermore, unlike conventional hydrogen production equipment for hydrogen station-related facilities, the three companies and their respective local affiliates will work together and hold discussions to optimize the design for local conditions.

This equipment will be used as part of a series of initiatives in the areas of producing, transporting, storing, and using hydrogen.

The three companies will continue to utilize Japan’s hydrogen-related technologies to promote clean energy tailored to each country and region. They will also work together with various stakeholders to help achieve a hydrogen society and ultimately a carbon-neutral society.


Air Liquide and ENEOS partner to accelerate the development of low-carbon hydrogen and energy transition in Japan

Paris, France, November 15, 2023

Air Liquide, a world leader in gases, technologies and services for Industry and Health, and ENEOS Corporation, Japan’s leading energy company, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on accelerating the development of low-carbon hydrogen in Japan and contribute to the energy transition. This partnership intends to capitalize on ENEOS’ strong energy infrastructure and market presence in Japan as well as on Air Liquide’s more than 60 years of expertise across the entire hydrogen value chain – from production, liquefaction, transport, storage and distribution to usages – as well as mastery of Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS).

This partnership will span the whole value chain of low-carbon hydrogen. Upstream, the partners will study the development of low-carbon hydrogen production, using both CCUS and electrolysis technologies. Furthermore, they will examine possible collaboration in the development of an international liquid hydrogen supply chain to serve the Japanese market from abroad. Downstream, the partnership will envisage joint initiatives to develop hydrogen mobility in Japan, including through a hydrogen refueling station infrastructure. In addition, Air Liquide and ENEOS will explore a collaboration in innovation along the hydrogen supply chain.

Armelle Levieux, member of Air Liquide’s Executive Committee and Vice President of Innovation supervising Hydrogen activities, said:

Air Liquide is proud to partner with ENEOS, Japan’s leading energy company. This collaboration, which will span the whole value chain of renewable and low-carbon hydrogen, will combine the strengths of two leaders in their field. As such, it can significantly contribute to the development of hydrogen as a key element of decarbonization of industry and mobility in Japan. This partnership is yet another sign that Air Liquide is accelerating in the energy transition. It is in line with our strategic plan ADVANCE, which closely links financial and extra-financial performances.

 Tomohide Miyata Representative Director, Executive Vice President, ENEOS, said:

Under the ENEOS Group’s Long-Term Vision to 2040, we are taking on the challenge of achieving both “a stable supply of energy and materials” and “the realization of a carbon-neutral society”. We believe the collaboration with Air Liquide, which is one of the world’s largest industrial gas companies, will also serve as a basis for leading energy transition and continue to support energy supply in Japan in a carbon neutral society. ENEOS is currently considering MCH[1] as our main hydrogen carrier, but through this MOU, we also pursue the exploration of liquefied hydrogen in the future to contribute to the formation of a decarbonized society.


  1. ^  *MCH (Methylcyclohexane) is a Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier (LOHC) which is liquid at ambient temperature and pressure with the volume being 1/500th of gaseous hydrogen. This makes it easy to handle, store and transport. 


Global hydrogen car sales continue to fall amid collapse in South Korean market, despite surge in China and US

Sales for first seven months of 2023 are down 9.6% year on year, according to data from South Korea’s SNE Research

12 September 2023

Worldwide sales of hydrogen-powered fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) dropped 9.6% year-on-year over the first seven months of 2023, amid a downturn in their largest market, South Korea, according to Korean consultancy SNE Research.

While 5,534 FCEVs were sold between January and July 2022 in South Korea, this fell to 3,390 units over the same period this year.

While the South Korean government has doubled subsidies for fuel cell buses in its budget for next year, it has also cut support for passenger vehicles down from 360bn won ($271m) to 202.5bn won.

But hydrogen fuel price hikes over the summer and vehicle options limited to the Hyundai Nexo or the Toyota Mirai have resulted in consumer reluctance to purchase FCEVs despite this government support.

As such, it is likely that the 2023 budget will be underspent, which may have prompted the budget cut, which is equivalent to around 7,000 fewer vehicles supported.

The Japanese market for hydrogen-powered cars has also continued to collapse, falling 63.4% year on year to just 235 FCEVs sold in the first seven months of 2023.

However, China has seen sales grow to 3,073 hydrogen-powered vehicles from January to July, a 66.8% growth year-on-year.

Meanwhile, although only 943 FCEVs were sold in the US between January and April — a 24.8% decrease year on year — another 1,390 were sold in the following three months, pushing the market into a 21% year-on-year growth for the first seven months.

This has led to a more even split between sales in different markets. While in the first seven months of 2022, 52% of all FCEVs were sold in South Korea, this has fallen to 35.2%, while China has ballooned from 17.3% to 31.9% of the market and the US from 18.1% to 24.3% .

However, South Korea and Japan currently dominate FCEV manufacturing, representing more than 90% of the market for hydrogen-powered passenger cars, according to data from consultancy Wood Mackenzie shared with Hydrogen Insight.

But while South Korea’s auto industry has to date geared its FCEVs towards the domestic market, which represents more than 90% of sales in 2022, Japanese companies have generally pushed their hydrogen-powered passenger cars for export, with the Toyota Mirai making up 75% of FCEVs sold in the US.

So could China’s increasing share of demand for the vehicles lead to a major shift in supply?

“It is unlikely that FCEVs will disrupt existing market dynamics,” a spokesperson for Wood Mackenzie tells Hydrogen Insight. “China are committed to BEV [battery-electric vehicle] manufacture but Chinese brands are not displacing traditional OEMs in Europe and US. It is unlikely that FCEVs will be any different.

“However, similar to BEVs, we do expect China to play a key role in fuel cell and vehicle component supply chains.

“Approximately a third of fuel cell-related suppliers are Chinese companies, while North America, South Korea and Europe are investing heavily in fuel cell manufacturing, especially in the heavy-duty sector.”


UK and South Korea strengthen clean energy ties

The two countries will focus on civil nuclear, low-carbon technologies and tackling climate change.

November 22, 2023

The UK and South Korea have agreed to boost their partnership on energy security and speed up the switch to renewable energy.

A new Clean Energy Partnership will be signed by the two countries as part of South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol’s four-day state visit to the UK in November 2023.

The partnership agreement will be signed by UK Energy Security Secretary Claire Coutinho and her South Korean counterpart, Minister for Trade, Industry and Energy Bang Moon Kyu.

The focus of the partnership will be on a clean energy transition, low-carbon technology, civil nuclear, domestic climate policies and the development of their energy sectors.

It will also promote business collaboration between the two countries by addressing trade barriers.

The two countries also plan to double down on their commitments to limit global warming to 1.5°C and work towards phasing out coal from the energy mix to reach a 2050 net-zero goal.

South Korean businesses have invested £10bn in the UK, supporting renewable energy and infrastructure projects while creating 1,000 jobs across renewables.

Coutinho stated: “The UK and the Republic of Korea already have a strong relationship on energy security and tackling climate change.

“The new partnership we will sign will see us collaborate even more closely, driving forward shared plans to accelerate clean energy sources, like renewables and nuclear power.

“This will help us make the green transition while supporting the injection of more than £10bn into the UK economy from South Korean businesses and the thousand skilled jobs that come with that.”

London and Seoul will also strengthen their cooperation on civil nuclear power including large-scale, small-scale and advanced reactors, decommissioning and waste management, and supply chains.

By sharing information on offshore wind, they can support each other’s ambitions. The UK aims to deploy 50GW by 2030 and South Korea’s target is 14.3GW by 2030.

They also plan to strengthen their existing cooperation on grids and infrastructure through the Korea Electric Power Corporation, Ofgem and the national grid.


The Hydrogen Stream: South Korea launching hydrogen bidding market

South Korea is opening what it claims is the world’s first hydrogen power generation bidding market, while the International Energy Agency says that Omani hydrogen production could surpass current European consumption levels.

JUNE 13, 2023

South Korea‘s Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy launched a bidding process for hydrogen power generation on June 9. The selection of a winning bidder is scheduled for the middle of August. The government has planned two bidding rounds this year, with a total volume of 1,300 GWh, and the first round aims to allocate half of this volume. South Korea has described the initiative as “the world’s first hydrogen power generation bidding market.” In recent weeks, South Korea has engaged in energy collaboration discussions with several countries, including AzerbaijanFranceJapan, and Oman. Seoul is focusing on hydrogen production as it shifts away from nuclear power.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has released a report on Oman’s potential as a competitive low-emissions hydrogen supplier. It notes Oman’s solar and wind resources, as well as its expansive land area, as key factors. Oman aims to produce at least 1 million tons of renewable hydrogen per year by 2030, with targets of up to 3.75 million tons by 2040 and 8.5 million tons by 2050 – surpassing current hydrogen demand in Europe. “The 2040 hydrogen target would represent 80% of Oman’s current LNG exports in energy-equivalent terms, while achieving the 2050 target would almost double them,” said the IEA.

The Queensland government has approved funding for major water projects. The Australian state will offer AUD 8 million ($5.4 million) over a period of two years for a detailed assessment of the water requirements for the hydrogen industry in the city of Gladstone.

Mitsubishi Power Americas and Magnum Development have closed a $504.4 million loan guarantee from the US Department of Energy’s (DoE) Loan Programs Office to develop the world’s largest industrial green hydrogen facility in central Utah. Michael Ducker, the vice president for Mitsubishi Power Americas, said that the loan will create a path to accelerate the long-term hydrogen market across the United States.

Lhyfe and Capital Energy have signed a collaboration agreement to jointly develop offshore renewable hydrogen projects in Spain and Portugal. “Under the agreement, the two companies will work together to create hydrogen production sites at some of the offshore wind farm sites currently being developed by Capital Energy,” said Lhyfe. “The Spanish energy company already has a development pipeline of more than 7.5 gigawatts (GW) in both countries.”

Thyssenkrupp has announced plans to list Thyssenrupp nucera’s shares on the regulated market (Prime Standard) of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. The initial public offering of ThyssenKrupp nucera’s shares will likely be completed “before the summer break, subject to capital market conditions,” said the two companies. 


Hyundai Motor Company and University College London to Collaborate on Carbon-Free Future Technologies

22 Nov, 2023

  • Hyundai Motor and UCL sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) ahead of the UK-Korea Business Forum in London on November 22 with key leaders attending
  • Hyundai Motor and UCL to conduct joint research on hydrogen production, fuel cells and electrification technologies, leveraging UCL’s new Advanced Propulsion Lab
  • Both parties look to achieve carbon neutrality by accelerating the establishment of a hydrogen economy and realizing a sustainable future mobility ecosystem

SEOUL, South Korea, Nov. 22, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Hyundai Motor Company today announced that it is partnering with the world-renowned University College London (UCL) to jointly research carbon-neutral future technologies.

Hyundai Motor signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on ‘Cooperation in areas of Research and Development for Hydrogen Production, Hydrogen Fuel Cells and Electrification Technology’ with UCL at Mansion House in London on November 22.

The MOU signing ceremony took place prior to the UK-Korea Business Forum. In attendance were government officials from both countries, including Moon-kyu Bang, South Korea’s Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy; and Nigel Huddleston, UK Secretary of State for International Trade; as well as Dong-wook Kim, Executive Vice President of Hyundai Motor Company; and Dr Michael Spence, President and Provost of UCL.

With both South Korea and UK aiming to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, Hyundai Motor looks to accelerate the development of a hydrogen economy and realize a sustainable future mobility ecosystem through this MOU.

UCL is a prestigious research-oriented university that is consistently ranked at the top of global university rankings and has produced dozens of Nobel Prize and Fields Medal winners. “Through joint research with UCL, one of the UK’s leading research universities, we will accelerate the pace of technological innovation in hydrogen production, fuel cells and electrification,” said Jaehoon (Jay) Chang, President and CEO of Hyundai Motor Company. “We hope that this collaboration will contribute to achieving carbon neutrality in the transportation sector, which is a goal shared by Korea and the UK.”

UCL President and Provost, Dr Michael Spence said, “New technologies, such as hydrogen generation, electric vehicles and fuel cells, are a fundamental part of international efforts to keep the global temperature rise within the goals set out in the Paris Agreement. This partnership will combine UCL’s world-leading engineering research with Hyundai’s expertise as one of the world’s leading automotive companies to accelerate the development of these vital technologies.”


Why California and South Korea Need to Build Joint Soft Power Plus

NOVEMBER 08, 2023

In matters ranging from trade, economy, and climate change to entertainment and education, California and South Korea are uniquely situated for strong collaboration to help both partners adapt to the challenges of the twenty-first century. (for details please follow the link below)    


Australian hydrogen in demand as South Korean manufacturers look to reach renewable energy target by 2050

14 May 2023

Off a busy highway outside Seoul in South Korea, there is a large refuelling station unlike any I’ve seen in Australia.

There are the typical petrol and diesel pumps as well as a very high-tech looking set of bowsers for electric vehicles (EV) with plasma screens showing how much power is being pumped into each EV.

But it’s the small, lone pump off to the side, that stands out. Among the Korean writing, the “H2” written on it is clear to see.

It’s one of a couple of hundred hydrogen fuel stations dotted throughout South Korea and a signal of where one of Australia’s largest trading partners is turning its energy focus.

South Korea’s 100 per cent renewable energy by 2050 target has businesses in the industrialised nation, known for its large manufacturing sector, looking for alternative energy.

It imports 90 per cent of its power, and Australia is a critical partner in that transfer of energy.

In 2021-22, South Korea spent more than $24 billion importing Australian coal and gas.

“The Australia/Republic of Korea partnership has never been more important,” Australia’s ambassador to South Korea, Catherine Raper, explains from the embassy in Seoul.

“We are both natural partners and necessary partners and peers.

“Economically, we have in 2022 in preliminary figures, seen Korea rise to the status of being Australia’s third largest goods trading partner, and we’re number five for Korea.

“So it’s a deep and substantial and highly complementary economic relationship, underpinned by a very successful free trade agreement that has seen trade double over the course of that FTA.”

It’s a relationship that has primarily been based around fossil fuels and as each nation works towards its own climate targets, business leaders in South Korea want the partnership to strengthen.

Korea needs Australian hydrogen

Companies like Korea Zinc, the largest zinc refinery in the world, have signed up to RE100, with ambitions to be completely renewable energy powered by 2050.

Korea Zinc refines a number of metals that go into making batteries, including zinc, copper and lead.

But refining those metals is a power-hungry process and as a resources and energy importer, it’s relying on its suppliers to make the energy transition too.

“Without Australia, we can’t make Renewable Energy 100 by 2050,” explained vice president of Korea Zinc, Ki-Jun Kim.

“So Korea Zinc, the business you can see, that in Australia, we’ll make your green hydrogen there and it will be transported to Korea to make our battery materials business in Korea.”

Korea Zinc’s Australian business, Sun Metals, owns Ark Energy, which is building a green hydrogen plant in Townsville.

Once at capacity, Korea Zinc hopes to ship more than 500,000 tonnes of hydrogen a year from Queensland to Korea to power its factory.

It will also on sell excess energy to other Korean users.

“Compared to our Korean peninsula you [Australia] have huge amounts of land available with very low expense and also the Australian Government has really confirmed that in the near future instead of exporting just coal, you want to export green hydrogen,” Mr Ki-Jun noted.

“There are some incentives and further encouragement for the research and development program sponsored by the Australian Government.

“There is a big opportunity for Korean Zinc and our Australian subsidiary Ark Energy, that’s the reason why we are really serious in pursuing our two green metal projects in Australia.”

Budget bonus

Last week’s $2 billion Hydrogen Headstart budget commitment is a further signal of where the government sees the energy transition heading.

Fortescue director Elizabeth Gaines told ABC program The Business it’s a welcome first step.

“It’s a great signal that the government is taking the energy transition seriously,” she said.

“If I contrast that to the inflation Reduction Act in the US that was introduced late last year, that’s a $369 billion support package.”

Ms Gaines hopes to see more from the government, in time.

“There is a crisis, an energy crisis, and there is demand and we’re already seeing that,” Ms Gaines said.

“We have partners in Germany who are seeking five million tons of green hydrogen as quickly as they can.”

Fortescue has invested about $1 billion through its Fortescue Future Industry business to develop greener ways of doing business, be that mine trucks and even train haulage powered by hydrogen.

Part of that investment also includes its ambitions to build a hydrogen electrolyser factory in Gladstone.

“I certainly see a future where hydrogen and the export of renewable energy will be as important as iron ore, other commodities and LNG have been to the Australian economy,” Ms Gaines said.

Transporting hydrogen isn’t easy

“The whole transport story is one that’s going to be the biggest challenge for hydrogen,” said CBA’s mining and energy economist, Vivek Dhar.

One way to move the gas hydrogen is by converting it into a liquid, which only occurs when it’s cooled to about minus 250 degrees Celsius.

Keeping it at that temperature isn’t easy, especially when it’s being transported long distances in a ship.

Hydrogen gas can also be converted into ammonia for transport, and while it doesn’t need to be cooled as much as liquid hydrogen, it also faces challenges.

“There are notable energy losses in conversion to say something like ammonia which hydrogen can be converted to and then sent across the sea,” explained Mr Dhar.

“But if you send it as liquid hydrogen there are even bigger penalties in terms of energy loss, because you have to cool it so much.

“So, in terms of how the transport of hydrogen by sea looks like, I think ammonia is going to be the main pathway.

“But it is certainly still not fully determined that that’s the best one.”

In Ulsan, the centre of hydrogen and technology in South Korea, there are a range of research projects underway, supported by the Korean government funded Ulsan Technology Park.

It wants a greater transfer of research and development between South Korea and Australia to solve some of the challenges, like transport, in using hydrogen as an energy source.

“I think Australia can be a big supplier of hydrogen to Korea,” explained Ulsan Technology Park director general Rhee Hanwoo.

“I suggest we co-operate in terms of shipbuilding and mass production of ammonia to supply Korea.”

Using hydrogen to value add in Australia

Some Korean businesses want to use Australian hydrogen in their operations locally, rather than look to exporting the gas in one form or another.

POSCO, Korea’s largest steel maker and Australia’s biggest iron ore customer, has been granted land by the Western Australian government to create a hydrogen fuelled plant in the Pilbara.

The plant would use hydrogen power in the energy intensive process of refining WA iron ore into hot briquetted iron (HBI), which are pellets of refined iron ore that can then be shipped to POSCO’s steel works on the peninsula.

Using hydrogen energy so close to its source in the Pilbara eliminates the transport logistics of moving both the hydrogen and the iron ore on ships to Korea.

“I actually think that’s the big opportunity that hydrogen presents Australia,” Mr Dhar said.

“Given the challenges to transport hydrogen by ship, we actually have an opportunity to do more value-add processing onshore, and then export that product.

“I think iron ore and converting it to iron is certainly one of those sectors that has enormous potential in terms of that value-add processing.”

He notes a lot more work is needed to determine the best commercial and logistical uses of hydrogen.

Could hydrogen be the new mining boom?

Modelling by Commonwealth Bank’s economics research team shows $260 billion worth of hydrogen projects are in the pipeline, significantly more than any other industry like iron ore, coal, or oil and gas.

“But how much of that makes it to actual investment is now the big question,” Mr Dhar said.

About 60 per cent of the publicly announced projects in Australia’s resources sector, and 40 per cent of projects at the feasibility stage, centre around hydrogen.

“It’s a massive proportion of what’s coming out and that’s going to be one of the big stories in our view,” Mr Dhar said.

“If we are going to see another mining investment boom in Australia, similar to what we saw with the China boom, we would likely need to see hydrogen projects get up and running.”

He saidsecuring commercial partnerships, like those with partners in Korea, are critical to the success of a hydrogen industry in Australia.

“When we talk about what is needed to get export projects up and running, and that’s what the Hydrogen Headstart program, in our view is really trying to achieve, then you’re really talking about offtakes.

“If Korea and Japan can offer those offtakes, alongside say Europe, then that would actually kickstart a number of export projects in Australia.


The Hydrogen Dispatch –

2023-11-20 China’s Trina Solar is looking at India to sell its green hydrogen electrolysers and is in talks with a few developers who are setting up projects in the country. Trina, which is a big global player in the solar market, has an electrolyser manufacturing unit in China and plans to sell these in the global market very soon. The company believes that India is a big market for it as there are growing talks around green hydrogen, ammonia, and round-the-clock power. Many tenders are coming up focusing on battery storage systems. Trina is all geared up to cater to this market.

On its plans around solar module manufacturing in India, the firm said that it is quite keen to manufacture in the country but is still evaluating the prospects as it has to make sense commercially too. There are various options available for it. It can go for a joint venture or independently.

Regarding competition from domestic solar players, it said that local manufacturers were only manufacturing modules and nobody was manufacturing wafers and ingots and polysilicon. So, the entire local manufacturing industry in India will take time to develop, from the point of view of both technology and the ecosystem.


India-Australia Green Hydrogen Taskforce

On 24 May 2023, India and Australia reiterated a shared ambition on green hydrogen with the exchange of the agreed Terms of Reference for the India-Australia Green Hydrogen Taskforce.

The Taskforce will be comprised of Australian and Indian experts in green hydrogen. It will report to the India-Australia Ministerial Energy Dialogue on trade, commercial and research opportunities between the two countries through the manufacture and deployment of green hydrogen.

The Terms of Reference were signed by Secretary David Fredericks of the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water and Secretary Bhupinder Singh Bhalla of the Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.

Co-Chairs for the India – Australia Green Hydrogen Taskforce have been appointed, Dr Patrick Hartley from Australia and Dr Ashish Lele from India.

Dr Patrick Hartley is the leader of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation’s (CSIRO) Hydrogen Industry Mission and has excellent links with Australia’s hydrogen research and business community.

Dr Ashish Lele, is a Senior Vice President & Head, Advanced Materials and Alternative Energy Group, Reliance Industries Limited and currently the Director of CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory, Pune, India.

The Taskforce’s areas of initial focus will be:

  • hydrogen electrolysers
  • production of green hydrogen and fuel cell manufacture
  • supporting infrastructure
  • standards and regulations.

As a key outcome, they will provide advice and recommendations to the Government on opportunities to further the development of the hydrogen industry.


The green scheme

23 November 2023

India’s journey towards a sustainable and green energy future has taken a significant leap forward with its ambitious plans to become a global hub for the production of green hydrogen. Chandu Gopalakrishnan reports

What is common among Reliance Industries, L&T and ONGC? Apart from the fact that they are India-listed companies, these three enterprises lead the pack of businesses that eye the pie of India’s nascent green hydrogen business….

As costs decrease over time, green hydrogen could revolutionise India’s energy landscape and set a valuable example for the world to follow. (for details please follow the link below)


India gears up to host international conference on green hydrogen, driving sustainable innovation

04 Jul 2023, 

New Delhi: The government is set to host the International Conference on Green Hydrogen (ICGH-2023) in New Delhi from 5-7 July, 2023. The conference aims to bring together global leaders in scientific research, policy-making, academia, and industry to discuss advancements and emerging technologies in the green hydrogen sector.

Organized by the ministry of new and renewable energy in collaboration with the ministry of petroleum and natural gas, council of scientific and industrial research, office of the principal scientific advisor to the government, and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the conference seeks to foster a sustainable ecosystem in the green hydrogen sector.

Union power and new & renewable energy minister R. K. Singh will inaugurate the conference on July 5 in the presence of Union MoS for petroleum & natural gas Rameshwar Teli. The valedictory session will include addresses from Union minister of petroleum & natural gas and housing & urban affairs Hardeep Puri, and Union minister of state for science & technology and minister of state in the prime minister’s office Jitendra Singh.

The conference aims to explore the establishment of a green hydrogen ecosystem and facilitate discussions on hydrogen production, storage, distribution, and downstream applications. It will also cover topics such as green financing, human resource upskilling, startup initiatives, and international best practices in the sector.

The conference will feature plenary talks, expert panel discussions, and technical deliberations, providing an opportunity for industry and research participants to delve into national and global priorities aligned with India’s National Green Hydrogen Mission. Launched on January 4, 2023, the mission aims to position India as a global hub for green hydrogen production, utilization, and export, contributing to the country’s target of achieving net zero by 2070.

Over three days, the conference will include more than 25 deep-dive sessions, engaging experts from the US, Japan, Germany, Switzerland, Africa, and other countries. Their perspectives will be shared with top Indian government officials, scientists, industry representatives, and other stakeholders to chart the best path forward for decarbonization.

The conference has garnered significant interest from stakeholders, attracting demonstrations and prototypes by public sector undertakings (PSUs), private companies, and startups. It will also facilitate business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-government (B2G) meetings.

Industry leaders such as IOC, REC, NTPC, Toyota Kirloskar, Mitsui OSK Lines, Larsen & Toubro, Evonik, HAL Offshore Ltd, Ashok Leyland, Toyota-Kiroskar, KPIT Pune, Tata Power, and Hero Future Energies will be represented. Additionally, prominent research institutions, including the National Chemical Laboratory, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), National Chemical Laboratory (NCL), IIT Kharagpur, IIT Bombay, IIT Madras, and regulatory bodies like the Bureau of Indian Standards, will participate.

The conference program will feature sessions on hydrogen production, storage, distribution, fuel cells, electrolyzers, hydrogen in mobility, integrated hydrogen systems, hydrogen in industries, and disruptive science and technology. The event will conclude with a valedictory session on July 7.


India govt sets emission limit for hydrogen to qualify as ‘green’

Reuters, August 19, 2023

MUMBAI, Aug 19 (Reuters) – The Indian government has set an emission limit of two kilogram carbon-dioxide for every kilogram of hydrogen produced to be classified as “green” from renewable sources, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy said on Saturday.

It said in a statement its notification would bring widely-awaited clarity for green hydrogen production in India.

“With this notification, India becomes one of the first few countries in the world to announce a definition of Green Hydrogen,” the ministry said in the statement, which detailed what emissions would be accounted for.


German hydrogen fuel cell maker’s profits double in first half of 2023 amid growth in India and North America

SFC Energy reports €7.3m in adjusted earnings with group sales increasing by 49.5%

22 August 2023 

German hydrogen and methanol fuel cell company SFC Energy has posted €7.3m ($7.9m) in adjusted earnings for the first half of 2023, compared to €3.1m for H1 2022.

This has primarily been driven by a sharp increase in sales, which reached €57m in H1 2023 — a 49.5% rise year-on-year — as the firm saw significant growth in the Asian and North American markets.

SFC has started to reap rewards from its expansion into India, which accounted for €33m of the company’s €85.7m orderbook as of the end of the second quarter.

However, these orders, placed by the country’s Ministry of Defence, are for methanol fuel cells — which produce CO2 emissions, albeit at much lower volumes than diesel generators — with no guarantee that they will be run on low-carbon versions of the fuel.

In July, the German firm opened a hydrogen and methanol fuel cell factory in New Delhi, set up in partnership with local company FC TecNrgy, with a target of selling €100m of products from the facility per year.

This allows the company to meet the government’s “Make-in-India” requirements, which could help it secure future subsidies ringfenced for locally produced hydrogen equipment.

“India, with a partly unstable electricity supply and a lot of local power that is often still generated by diesel generators, offers huge market potential,” the firm’s CEO Peter Podesser, CFO Daniel Saxena, and COO Hans Pol wrote in a letter to shareholders.

However, while SFC’s sales in Asia grew by 94.7% year-on-year, this region still represents only 10.1% of this revenue.

North America meanwhile saw a similarly dramatic 72.8% rise in sales—and from a much larger share of revenue to begin with. The market now accounts for 47.2% of SFC’s sales, and the German company is planning to set up a US subsidiary by the end of this year.

The growth in North American sales was mainly driven by increased demand for fuel cells for industrial applications, which made up around two-thirds of SFC’s total sales.