ARENA announced up to $2.17 million in funding to Stanwell Corporation Limited (Stanwell) to complete a feasibility study for a proposed hydrogen export project located in Gladstone, Queensland.

The study, delivered in partnership with Japan’s largest hydrogen supplier Iwatani Corporation, will investigate the feasibility of developing a hydrogen production facility capable of producing up to 36,500 tonnes per annum of renewable hydrogen and export to Japan from 2026.

Stanwell and Iwatani’s long term plan is to scale up to 328,500 tonnes per annum in 2031 to meet forecast Japanese demand. Stanwell proposes to ship hydrogen in liquid form utilising liquid hydrogen shipping vessels.

The $10.4 million study is also supported by investment from a broader consortium of Japanese and domestic partners including Kansai Electric Power Corporation, Marubeni Corporation, Kawasaki Heavy Industries and APA Group, and funding support from the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

Australia holds a competitive advantage in the emerging hydrogen export market due to its existing expertise and infrastructure in energy export supply chains, proximity to key emerging hydrogen import markets in Asia with established trade relationships, and an abundance of renewable energy resources.

Since the release of Australia’s National Hydrogen Strategy by the Council of Australian Government’s (COAG) Energy Council in November 2019, the Australian Government has been advancing international collaborations, undertaking national coordination and supporting priority industry projects to grow a clean, innovative, safe and competitive hydrogen industry.

In January 2020, the Australian and Japanese governments signed a Joint Statement of Cooperation on Hydrogen and Fuel Cells. In June of this year, the governments also announced the Japan-Australia Partnership on Decarbonisation through Technology, recognising their shared ambition to accelerate the development and commercialisation of low and zero emissions technologies, including clean hydrogen. The study exemplifies the ongoing collaboration and exploration of emerging hydrogen trade opportunities.