ABB to support Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain project

An artists' impression of the HESC Port of Hastings

ABB will deliver automation, electrification and instrumentation solutions for the Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC) pilot project.

The HESC pilot project aims to safely and efficiently produce clean hydrogen in Australia and transport it to Japan, in one of the world’s first efforts to commercialise technology to liquefy and transport hydrogen. The project aims to test the production of hydrogen gas through brown coal gasification, liquefaction of hydrogen gas, storage and loading onto the world’s first specialised carrier for transport across the Asia-Pacific.

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The landmark HESC pilot project has the potential to create AUD$2 billion in exports nationally, positioning Australia as a global leader in hydrogen production. The Australian Government has described the pilot project as a ‘crucial step’ towards Australia becoming an international leader in hydrogen production, with the Australian and Victorian Governments pledging AU$50 million (US$34 million) each to the AU$500 million (US$343 million) HESC pilot project. Construction of the small-scale pilot facilities at the Port of Hastings commenced in 2019, and the pilot phase will operate for approximately one year from 2020.


ABB has been awarded orders in both Australia and Japan, winning an electrification and instrumentation contract in Australia and an automation contract in Japan from KHI.

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President of ABB’s Industrial Automation business Peter Terwiesch said, “ABB is excited to collaborate on this world-first pilot to commercialise technology for liquefying and transporting hydrogen from Australia and deliver clean energy to Japan, while also reducing emissions”.

Hydrogen is anticipated to supply up to a fifth of global energy needs and generate a market worth US$2.5 trillion by 2050. With the world’s fifth-largest total energy consumption, yet low natural resources of coal, oil and gas, Japan considers hydrogen as integral to meeting its future transportation and power generation requirements. Liquefication supports in reducing hydrogen to 1/800th of its volume for more efficient transportation over long distances, with its long-term use as a fuel considered a potential solution for lowering greenhouse gas emissions.