Australia’s biggest energy retailer Origin Energy and the country’s most successful renewable energy developer, Neoen, have signed deals with leading Japanese companies to develop green hydrogen and green ammonia opportunities.
Japan is considered one of the prime markets for green hydrogen and ammonia, because of its large energy needs and its lack of opportunities – apart from offshore wind – to develop renewable energy sources at scale.
Origin’s agreement is with global shipping major Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. to jointly investigate opportunities to support export-scale green ammonia in Australia, with green ammonia projects up and running and supplying downstream markets from 2026.
Origin is already looking at a number of export scale green hydrogen opportunities across Australia, including in Bell Bay, Tasmania.
Neoen’s agreement is with Eneos, which wants to develop an Australian supply chain for an “affordable and stable supply of CO2-free hydrogen (green hydrogen) produced from renewable energy.”
Neoen is looking to green hydrogen to create demand for renewable energy that could be supplied by two of its biggest projects, Goyder South and Crystal Brook in South Australia.
Both are looking to combine massive amounts of wind, solar and battery storage, and in the case of Crystal Brook a hydrogen electrolyser, although it is thought that Neoen sees itself as a supplier of renewable energy rather than a hydrogen producer per se.
Green hydrogen requires significant amounts of renewable energy to “split” water into hydrogen and water, but it guaranteed to be zero emissions, unlike rival projects that are looking to produce hydrogen from coal and gas with the “promise” of carbon capture and storage.
Under their agreement, Neoen will focus on renewable energy supply and water electrolysis cells for hydrogen production.
Eneos will be responsible for more efficient production of methylcyclohexane (MCH), and the maritime transport of MCH as a form of hydrogen storage and transport from Australia to Japan.
Origin’s general manager of future fuels, Tracey Boyes said Australia is in the “box seat” to develop green hydrogen opportunities thanks to its strong wind and solar resources and its expertise in LNG exports.
“Transport is one of the biggest opportunities globally to achieve emissions abatement through the use of green and renewable fuels such as hydrogen and ammonia,” she said in a statement.
“With our abundance of renewable resources and proximity to Asian markets, Australia is in the box seat to develop a world-leading hydrogen sector, exporting low emissions energy all over the world to meet demand for clean energy from our major trading partners.”