INPEX Corporation, has taken a significant step toward advancing its involvement in the emerging hydrogen energy sector. INPEX recently finalized an agreement to acquire shares in Japan Suiso Energy (JSE), a joint venture formed by two prominent entities in the industry: Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Iwatani Corporation.
This strategic move positions INPEX to actively participate in the development of an international liquefied hydrogen supply chain, a project that aligns with Japan’s ambitious hydrogen energy goals.
The shareholder agreement will see INPEX holding a 30% equity stake in JSE, while Kawasaki and Iwatani will possess 36.6% and 33.4%, respectively. This collaboration consolidates their expertise and resources to drive the development of a crucial component of Japan’s hydrogen economy.
JSE, established with the purpose of conducting research, planning, investment, and operations related to an international liquefied hydrogen supply chain, is already actively involved in the Liquefied Hydrogen Supply Chain Commercialization Demonstration Project. This project was selected by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization’s (NEDO) Green Innovation Fund in August 2021.
The primary objective of the Liquefied Hydrogen Supply Chain Commercialization Demonstration Project is to advance the technology required for the liquefaction and transportation of hydrogen on a large scale, targeting a production volume in the tens of thousands of tons per year. This project is a pivotal step toward commercialization and aims to establish a comprehensive international liquefied hydrogen supply chain stretching from Australia to Japan.
Both INPEX and its partners are enthusiastic about the prospect. The collective statement from the companies emphasizes the importance of INPEX’s experience and knowledge in achieving the project’s commercialization goals and reinforcing the international competitiveness of the consortium.
The collaboration aligns with the Japanese government’s commitment to hydrogen energy. In June 2023, the Japanese government revised its Basic Hydrogen Strategy, setting ambitious targets for hydrogen adoption. The strategy outlines the introduction of up to 3 million tons of hydrogen per year by 2030, followed by 12 million tons in 2040, and an impressive 20 million tons in 2050. Additionally, the strategy aims to reduce the cost of hydrogen supply to approximately 30 yen per normal cubic meter by 2030 and further decrease it to 20 yen per normal cubic meter by 2050 on a CIF (Cost, Insurance, Freight) basis.
This forward-thinking strategy is pivotal in Japan’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions and establish hydrogen as a cornerstone of its clean energy future. The development of an international liquefied hydrogen supply chain, with INPEX as a significant contributor, is a significant stride toward achieving these goals.