Brunei hydrogen plant to fuel cars at Tokyo Olympics

|     Danial Norjidi     |

THE hydrogenation plant which is being built in Brunei Darussalam as part of the world’s first Global Hydrogen Supply Chain Demonstration Project will fuel cars used during the Tokyo Olympics 2020.

Plans are also in place for expanding it into a commercial plant going forward, said Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Awang Haji Mohammad Yasmin bin Haji Umar, the Minister of Energy and Industry at the Prime Minister’s Office, in an interview with the Weekend Bulletin recently.

“This is basically a plant that will produce hydrogen, and hydrogen will be the fuel for the future, because hydrogen fuel is zero emission. There is no carbon at all.”

He said that prior to this project there hadn’t been a medium to ship hydrogen. “A breakthrough only came a few years ago and now we have material that we can use on-board a tanker and with this material, you can transport the hydrogen.”

It was also shared that the hydrogenation plant is being set up at the Sungai Liang Industrial Park (SPARK), and that initially the plant will have around 50 operators – engineering, technicians, etc. Going forward, there are also plans to expand the plant into a commercial plant.

“In the future, people will not only use hydrogen for fuel of the car, they can also use it for electrical power, because it is a small system and it is very clean,” he added.

The minister first announced the project while delivering a keynote address at the First East Asia Energy Forum in Bohol, the Philippines earlier this month.

Concept art of the Brunei Hydrogen Production & Hydrogenation Plant
Minister of Energy and Industry at the Prime Minister’s Office, Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Awang Haji Mohammad Yasmin bin Haji Umar. – PHOTOS: BAHYIAH BAKIR

In his keynote address, the minister shared that under the first Hydrogen Supply Chain Demonstration Project, liquefied hydrogen will be transported from Brunei Darussalam to Japan to fuel the cars used during the Tokyo Olympics 2020.

In a recent press release, four companies – Chiyoda Corporation, Mitsubishi Corporation, Mitsui & Co Ltd; and Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha – announced the creation of the Advanced Hydrogen Energy Chain Association for Technology Development (AHEAD) and the launch of the world’s first Global Hydrogen Supply Chain Demonstration Project.

The project, a subsidised ‘Technology Development Project to establish Hydrogen Society/Technology Development for the Utilisation of Large Scale Hydrogen Energy’, is funded by the National Research and Development Agency, the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organisation, and demonstrates ‘The Hydrogen Supply Chain utilising the Organic Chemical Hydride Method’.

The press release shared a project outline, under which the project is described as the construction of a Global Hydrogen Supply Chain Demonstration Plant comprising a hydrogenation plant in Brunei Darussalam and a Dehydrogenation Plant in Kawasaki’s coastal region of Japan using Chiyoda’s SPERA Hydrogen Technology.

Hydrogen will be procured in Brunei and transported by ship to Kawasaki, Japan in liquid form at ambient temperature and pressure. Hydrogen gas will then be extracted from the liquid in Kawasaki and supplied to consumers.

The project scale involves the supply of 210 tonnes (max) of Hydrogen in 2020, equivalent to filling 40,000 fuel cell vehicles. In terms of supply, hydrogen will be produced by Steam Reforming from the processed gas derived from the Natural Gas Liquefaction Plant of Brunei LNG Sdn Bhd.

It was mentioned that construction will take place from August 2017 to December 2019, and operation will be from January – December 2020.

The project will be constructed considering Phase II of the ‘Strategic Road Map for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells’, issued by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) in 2014 and revised in 2016, and aims to realise Global Hydrogen Transport and Supply Technology for full-scale Hydrogen Power Generation around 2030.

“This hydrogen demo project is a stepping stone for commercialisation of projects post 2020,” the press release said.

The technology utilises hydrogen for emission free power generation, which can contribute to fulfil the December 2015 COP21 Paris Agreement requiring greenhouse gas reductions to combat global warming.