World-first hydrogen project breaks ground in the Latrobe Valley

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Construction has commenced on a new facility for the world’s largest hydrogen export pilot project that will see brown coal from the AGL Loy Yang mine in the Latrobe Valley converted into hydrogen.

The world-first Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC) Pilot is being delivered by the Australian, Japanese and Victorian Governments alongside a consortium of companies including Kawasaki Heavy Industries, J-Power, Iwatani Corporation, Marubeni Corporation, Sumitomo Corporation and AGL.

The hydrogen gas produced at the new gasification facility will be transported to Port of Hastings where it will be liquified and then shipped to Japan for use in fuel cell electric vehicles and power generation.

The pilot, which is expected to create 400 jobs in the Latrobe Valley and Hastings regions across the life of the project, will be required to offset all the minimal greenhouse gases produced.

AGL Loy Yang General Manager, Nigel Browne said successful carbon capture and storage is a necessary condition for the program to progress to full commercial scale.

“As we move into a low emissions future, we need to draw on the technical and natural strengths of our region and harness them to diversify the economy and create new sources of prosperity,” Mr Browne continued.

“We are proud to be working with our Japanese partners who are global leaders in exploring the use of hydrogen.”

Victorian Minister for Economic Development Tim Pallas said the project has the potential to put Victoria at the forefront of the fast-growing hydrogen industry, which is expected to be worth $2.5 trillion globally by 2050.

“We are proud to back this world-first first project which will put Victoria at the forefront of the global hydrogen industry,” Mr Pallas said.

“The Andrews Labor Government is growing jobs and industry in the Latrobe Valley and working with our partners in Japan as we transition to a low carbon energy future.”

Foundation and civil works on the coal gasifying facility in the Latrobe Valley is being carried out by local contractors, with pilot plant operations to begin mid-2020 and run for one year.

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