Argus Media Limited

10/05/2021 | News release | Distributed by Public on 10/05/2021 02:58

Sembcorp, Japan firms eye hydrogen supply to Singapore

Sembcorp Utilities, a subsidiary of Singapore-listed energy firm Sembcorp Industries, and Japanese firms Chiyoda and Mitsubishi have teamed up to explore the feasibility of delivering decarbonised hydrogen to Singapore.

The firms signed an agreement yesterday, calling it a "strategically important step in the potential creation of a commercial-scale global supply chain for decarbonised hydrogen into Singapore" using Chiyoda's hydrogen storage and transportation technology Spera Hydrogen. Decarbonised hydrogen is produced from fossil fuels using attached carbon capture and storage facilities.

Singapore is eyeing the use of hydrogen in its low-carbon transition, but feasibility studies have highlighted challenges in producing green hydrogen at scale using domestic green electricity. This has prompted government agencies such as the Energy Market Authority to explore various supply pathways such as importing hydrogen via ships.

The latest agreement will explore using Chiyoda's technology to transport hydrogen in the form of methylcyclohexane (MCH), while Mitsubishi will focus on commercialising the supply chain aimed at delivering decarbonised hydrogen to Singapore. These moves are part of the Japanese government's Asia Energy Transition Initiative announced in May, which aims to support sustainable economic growth and carbon neutrality in Asia.

Sembcorp sees the agreement potentially supporting its efforts to meet increasing hydrogen demand, by supplying "carbon-neutral" hydrogen to customers within and outside Singapore's Jurong Island for fuel, chemical feedstock and other applications.

"The parties intend to undertake joint efforts to explore the most cost-effective hydrogen production in offshore locations for subsequent hydrogenation in these selected locations, and to ultimately ship MCH to Singapore for use," the companies said.

Singapore previously signed agreements with Australia and Chile to collaborate on low-emissions technologies and co-operate on green hydrogen, respectively. These are in line with the city-state's pledge to halve its emissions from its peak by 2050, with a plan to achieve net-zero carbon emissions as soon as viable in the second half of this century.

By Kay Yee Lee