Japan’s Osaka Gas [9532:JP] announced on April 12 that it will provide technical support for an Australia-based green hydrogen project worth USD10.75bn and will consider potential investment in the future, as reported by Reuters on the same day. The project, named Desert Bloom Hydrogen, extracts water from the air using an exclusive technology provided by Singapore’s Sanguine Impact Investment Group and then uses solar power to split the water to produce green hydrogen. The Japanese company will offer technical assistance to the project by leveraging its expertise in gas production and hydrogen-involved business. Meanwhile, it also seeks new knowledge on hydrogen development from participating in the scheme, according to the company spokesperson.
The project would start operation on a small scale in 2023 when it could produce 1,000 kg of hydrogen per day. Eventually, it aims to produce 410,000 tons of hydrogen a year for local use and exports. Through massive production, the project is expected to provide green hydrogen at an exporting price lower than USD2 per kg within five years. In contrast, the cost of manufacturing green hydrogen in Japan ranges from USD6 to USD9 per kg, a much higher price than that in other big economies due to expensive land costs. Therefore, Osaka Gas entered the Desert Bloom Hydrogen scheme to explore economical hydrogen manufacturing methods excluding the use of offshore wind. Additionally, the Japanese government aims to ramp up its annual hydrogen consumption to 3m tons by 2030 and 20m tons by 2050, from 2020 levels of 200 tons.