A Japanese push to increase hydrogen-powered vehicles is boosting interest in using Victoria’s brown coal.
If a trial is successful, and backed by the Victorian Government, the project could provide a boost to the Latrobe Valley region, which is bracing for the closure of Hazelwood power station, according to The Australian Business Review.
Called the Kawasaki Hydrogen Road, the plan is to produce hydrogen from mined brown coal and send it to Japan in custom-made ships. Carbon dioxide emitted in the process would be captured and stored in Bass Strait reservoirs.
At a recent Japanese clean coal conference, there was talk of a significant investment by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to boost hydrogen power ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.
Asia-Pacific head of the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute says the only thing people at the Japan Clean Coal Day conference wanted to talk about was hydrogen.
“People were talking quite openly about negotiations going on between Japanese companies and the Victorian Government, Victorian interests and the hope negotiations will yield results, because Japan really wants that hydrogen,” he told The Australian Business Review.