Japan’s ENEOS and France’s Neoen have agreed to collaborate on the development of a CO2-free hydrogen supply chain in Australia’s South Australia state, with the goal of transporting hydrogen in the form of methylcyclohexane (MCH) to Japan.

According to the memorandum of understanding, ENEOS and Neoen Australia will conduct a pre-feasibility study by the end of 2021 to investigate the possibilities for a stable supply of affordable hydrogen produced from renewable energy in South Australia. The research will investigate producing green hydrogen in Australia using renewable energy-derived electricity via water electrolysis; converting produced hydrogen into MCH for hydrogen storage and transport, and shipping MCH to Japan via tankers.

South Australia is known as one of the most developed regions in terms of battery storage infrastructure, with the state government encouraging the development of next-generation energy industries such as hydrogen and ammonia, as well as plans to expand facilities at its main port, which is expected to serve as a hub for hydrogen export to Japan.

Due to its ideal climate conditions, including wind and sunshine, and broad territory, ENEOS sees tremendous potential in cost-competitive hydrogen production in Australia. The company is also considering building CO2-free hydrogen supply networks in the Middle East and Asia.  Neoen, one of the world’s biggest independent renewable energy producers, also has more than 2 GW of renewable energy generating in operation or under construction in Australia.