The Hydrogen Stream: Australia approves $150 million hydrogen promotion program, Mitsubishi developing ammonia combustion burner in Japan

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The Australian government approved a $150 million (€95 million) program to support the country’s hydrogen export industry and attract overseas investment in its hydrogen supply chains. “The first round of the program will focus on the export of clean hydrogen to Japan under the Japan-Australia Partnership on Decarbonisation through Technology,” the Australian government wrote on Thursday. Australian hydrogen production for export and domestic use could generate more than $50 billion (€ 31.7 billion) in additional GDP by 2050, the government said.

Tokyo-based electric utility Jera and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) have received notice of acceptance of their grant application, under Japan’s green innovation fund Nedo, for a project to develop and demonstrate technology to increase the ammonia co-firing rate at coal-fired boilers. The term of the project is approximately eight years from FY 2021 to FY 2028. “By FY 2024 [April 2023-March 2024], Jera and MHI will develop a new burner capable of single-fuel ammonia combustion and draw up a master plan for equipment to demonstrate its use in actual boilers,” MHI stated in a press release issued Friday. “Based on the results, the two companies will decide whether to install the burners at Jera's coal-fired boilers made by MHI. For the actual plant demonstrations, Jera and MHI plan to verify co-firing with at least 50% ammonia at two units with different boiler types by FY 2028.”

Oil India, a government-owned oil and gas company, is setting up a 100 kW green hydrogen production unit at its Jorhat oilfield in Assam. The plant at its Pump Station-3 in Jorhat will generate green hydrogen using anion exchange membrane (AEM) technology. The hydrogen will be blended with natural gas using the existing infrastructure, said Pankaj Kumar Goswami, the company's director of operations. Meanwhile, Indian renewable energy developer Hero Future Energies has partnered with US company Ohmium International on the development of green hydrogen plants in India, the UK, and Europe with a cumulative electrolyzer capacity of 1 GW. This partnership will focus on Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) technology.

Pan-United Concrete, a subsidiary of Singapore’s Pan-United Corporation, and consulting firm Surbana Jurong have entered into a project development partnership agreement to study the feasibility of using electric and hydrogen fuel cells to power Pan-United's entire trucking fleet of more than 1,000 vehicles in Singapore. “The partnership is in line with Pan-United’s sustainability targets to firstly, offer only low-carbon concrete by 2030, secondly, offer carbon-neutral concrete products by 2040 and lastly, become a carbon-neutral ready-mix concrete company by 2050,” the companies announced on Wednesday. This is the second time the two companies team up. In 2020, they signed a memorandum of understanding with Keppel Data Centres and Chevron to jointly explore, identify and develop carbon capture technologies, “including novel CO2 mitigation technologies that convert captured CO2 into useful construction materials.”

The German government is providing a grant of €60 million for the H2Giga project, meant to prepare electrolyzer technologies for industrial production at gigawatt scale, according to Dresden-based alkaline and SOEC electrolyzer producer Sunfire. The project is aimed at significantly expanding German-based manufacturing capacity to meet the quickly developing demand for green hydrogen production, projected to increase from the current 0.2 GW to 40 GW by 2030. “The funding commitment will accelerate time-to-market of innovative high-temperature electrolyzers (SOEC),” the company said in a press release. “Under the leadership of Sunfire, 15 associated partners will be receiving €33 million to establish manufacturing processes and optimize systems. By using off-heat from industrial processes, Sunfire’s SOEC electrolyzers require up to 30 % less electricity from renewable energy sources than other technologies to produce a kilogram of hydrogen.” Sunfire and its eight associated partners have also been granted €27 million to boost the production of alkaline electrolyzer technology to gigawatt scale.

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Toyota, Danish green hydrogen infrastructure company Everfuel and Danish taxicab carrier DRIVR have entered into an agreement to expand the market for fuel-cell taxis in the Danish capital. “The parties announce a five-year collaboration agreement that will scale the current number of fuel-cell taxis in Copenhagen, Denmark,” Everfuel announced on Thursday. More than 100 of Toyota's Mirai model hydrogen cars are currently driving the streets of Copenhagen, it added. The three companies have a joint ambition of reaching 500 Mirai models in Copenhagen by the end of 2025, and more than 200 by the end of 2022. Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen made clear in her New Year speech that Denmark would support measures to decrease the environmental footprint of the transportation sector.

Vattenfall is looking to demonstrate the feasibility of offshore hydrogen production by installing hydrogen generating equipment on an extended transition piece platform on one of the turbines at its Aberdeen Offshore Wind Farm, the Swedish power company stated in a document for Scottish authorities dated November 2021. The hydrogen generating equipment would be connected to land via an 8-inch internal diameter buried flowline, where the hydrogen would be stored for offtake, according to the document, which also asks for clarifications about several topics, including environmental impact assessments and pipeline works authorisation. Vattenfall identified six flowline route options for the hydrogen, which would be produced at the wind farm off Aberdeen from desalinated water.

Spain's IM2 Solar and the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Concepción in Chile have joined forces to conduct a study based on the implementation of a viable business model for the generation of green hydrogen (H2V) for small and medium enterprises in Chile. “We will analyze the location that provides economic viability to the project due to its proximity, water availability and conditions to invest in a photovoltaic plant,” IM2 Solar said this week, explaining that the team would include two university professors and a student. “The date set for the delivery of this study is March 2022, when the possibility of managing this project in the Biobío Region will be evaluated, a place that was determined appropriate after a general mapping.” IM2 Solar, which has offices in Valencia, Spain, and Santiago, Chile, is reportedly entering Colombia, Peru, Argentina and Bolivia.

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