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    Kawasaki Finishes World's First Liquefied H2 Terminal


The imported hydrogen will be used for power generation.

by: Joe Murphy

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Kawasaki Finishes World's First Liquefied H2 Terminal

Japan's Kawasaki Heavy Industry announced on January 22 the completion of Kobe LH2, the world's first liquefied hydrogen receiving terminal.

The terminal is in the artificial Port Island in Kobe, Japan's seventh-largest city. The hydrogen it brings ashore will be used for small-scale power generation. The terminal has a 2,500-m3 liquefied hydrogen storage tank – the largest of its kind in Japan – and other equipment including a loading arm system specially designed for transferring liquefied hydrogen between shore facilities and ships.

"Operation testing has started at the facility, which will be used for a demonstration test, for an international hydrogen energy supply chain to transport liquefied hydrogen from Australia to Japan," Kawasaki said.

Kawasaki is one of the companies spearheading Japan's drive to become a "hydrogen society" as part of efforts to be carbon-neutral by 2050. But the high cost of developing wind and solar, owing to limited land availability, means most of the country's hydrogen supply will have to be imported. Australia is lining up to become a key supplier.

The terminal's storage tank can hold liquefied hydrogen over a long period at a temperature of -253°C and one eight-hundredth its initial volume. The tank has a double-shell vacuum-insulation structure, comprising inner and outer shells with a vacuum-sealed layer in between to prevent heat transfer from the outside. It also adopts a spherical design, which is the best shape for reducing heat transfer.

"Kawasaki will utilise liquefied hydrogen storage tank technologies developed through this project to pursue even larger-sized tanks in the future, with the aim of realising the high-volume hydrogen transport technologies necessary to achieve a hydrogen society,” The company said.