The Hydrogen Stream: Japan backs hydrogen in aviation


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.

Green Energy Park and Brazil's State of Piaui have signed a letter of intent for the production and export of an initial 1 million tons of ammonia derived from renewable energy sources. Green Energy Park has also revealed plans for its first 5 GW upstream renewable production and export facility in the state. The Belgium-based company said that Piaui offers a competitive edge in the production and export of renewable ammonia from Brazil to Europe and other global destinations.

Hy2gen is extending its presence in the United States by setting up its fifth wholly owned subsidiary, Hy2gen USA Inc. The expansion follows the opening of subsidiaries in France, Germany, Norway, and Canada. The first project lined up for Hy2gen USA Inc. is a 300 MW electrolysis-to-e-methanol plant serving an undisclosed global maritime customer. The company said it also plans to diversify its production portfolio by initiating at least two more projects, dedicated to generating renewable fuels for the maritime and aviation sectors, at multiple locations.

Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions (Toshiba ESS) and Bekaert have laid the foundations for a formal hydrogen partnership, set to be finalized by the end of the year.  Toshiba ESS specializes in developing Membrane Electrode Assembly (MEA) for large-capacity PEM water electrolyzers. The two companies have embarked on a joint study to explore the potential of a global partnership, leveraging their respective technological, manufacturing, and commercial network strengths to collaboratively develop MEA production and sales.

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Hygenco Green Energies says it plans to establish and manage a 100% green hydrogen production facility in Maharashtra, India, with the aim of supplying Sterlite Technologies' glass preform plant in Aurangabad.

H2 Energy Esbjerg has hired ABB for electrical engineering services. ABB's scope includes managing power distribution from a grid connection point to the electrolyzers and handling other process equipment for the 1 GW hydrogen production facility in Esbjerg and the hydrogen distribution center in Fredericia, Denmark. The project was booked in the third quarter of this year, and the PtX facility in Esbjerg is set to commence operations by 2027.

TÜV SÜD has granted “H2-Readiness” certification to Innio Group for its engine power plant concept. The concept enables the conversion of existing Jenbacher power plants to run on hydrogen (H2) and facilitates the planning of new hydrogen-ready Jenbacher power plants.

The University of Alberta and Vortex Energy have unveiled a collaborative effort to lead research focused on hydrogen and energy storage in domal salt structures in Atlantic Canada. As part of the venture, the University of Alberta's team will expand upon its current fundamental research on hydrogen-rock interactions. They will also develop protocols and guidelines to optimize site locations, design specifications, and operational parameters for hydrogen storage within salt caverns.

Iqony, GWI, and Saacke are jointly testing green ammonia as a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels, especially within the chemical industry. In the initial phase of this cooperative project, the primary objective is to explore theoretical applications for green ammonia, specifically its use as a combustion fuel in boiler plants. Once the first phase of the project concludes, the findings will be implemented on a larger scale.

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