An international demonstration project to validate the feasibility of creating an international hydrogen supply chain, connecting Japan from Southeast Asia, has taken a number of major steps forward in recent months.
The project is based on a collaboration between Chiyoda Corporation, Mitsubishi Corporation, NYK Line and Mitsui. The four companies established an Advanced Hydrogen Energy Association for technology Development (AHEAD) to start the world’s first international, H2 supply chain.
The demonstration project aimed to transform electricity in Brunei into hydrogen, which is subsequently hydrogenated using Chiyoda’s proprietary technology and toluene to methylcyclohexane (MCH).
The MCH is transported to a port in Brunei, shipped to Japan and then dehydrogenated to release the hydrogen, for use at Toa Oils refinery in Keihin.
The initial shipment of MCH produced in Brunei Darussalam was transported to Japan by ship in December 2019, and separated into hydrogen and toluene at a dehydrogenation plant located on the Kawasaki city waterfront in April 2020. The hydrogen was used to supply a gas turbine at the Mizue power station owned by Toa Oil Co. Ltd. in May 2020.
In June, the process of shipping the toluene, which was recovered during the dehydrogenation process, back to the originating plant in Brunei began.
As MCH remains in the liquid phase under normal ambient temperature and pressures, it can be transported in standard ISO chemical tank containers. In addition, MCH has significant volumetric advantages compared with gaseous hydrogen.
The demonstration project, which is expected to run until December 2020, will supply around 210 tonnes of hydrogen to the Mizue power station.