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24.02.2021 | News | Download file

CMB, ITOCHU Corporation and Nippon Coke & Engineering Company join forces to build a company dedicated to local hydrogen production.

CMB, ITOCHU and Nippon Coke & Engineering Company (NCE) today announced their collaboration to start up a company focusing on local hydrogen production for local consumption on the northern island of Kyushu. Using Nippon Coke's hydrogen and CMB's hydrogen engine, both supply and demand of hydrogen will be fulfilled on the northern island of Kyushu. This cooperation ensures an early supply chain based on local production for local use to help realise a carbon-free society. The anticipated initial yearly production will be 500.000 kilograms of hydrogen per year.

Since 2017, CMB has developed a wide variety of hydrogen powered applications, both for the maritime and port industry. CMB has also developed the world's first 1 MW dual fuel engine in a joint venture with ABC Engines (BeHydro). In April this year, it plans to start the commercial operation of passenger ships with a dual fuel engine in the Setouchi area.

In Japan, hydrogen is seen as the key technology for becoming carbon-neutral. Especially in the shipping industry, the practical application of engines that can directly burn hydrogen and ammonia is considered a pressing issue. Compared to fuel cells, hydrogen-powered dual fuel engines can reduce initial investment costs and be introduced without compromising performance and reliability.

CEO of CMB, Alexander Saverys, talks about the collaboration:

“We are proud that CMB, ITOCHU and NCE have agreed to form this milestone agreement to develop hydrogen supply in Japan. CMB has been present in Japan for 40 years and is looking forward to developing its hydrogen and shipping business further with new and existing local partners. CMB fully supports Japan’s view on the hydrogen society and will do its utmost to assist all economic and government institutions to strengthen Japan’s status as a leading hydrogen nation.”

NCE owns a plant in the northern Kyushu island region, one of the largest industrial areas in Japan, where it can establish stable hydrogen supplies to meet demand in the area.

By utilising its networks in Japan and other countries, ITOCHU will aim to complete the project at an early stage and introduce it to other regions. Furthermore, based on the actual demand created by the model of local production for local consumption of hydrogen, which is rooted in each region, the company will also seek to participate in large-scale hydrogen production projects in other countries.

Through these activities, ITOCHU will steadily implement "Strengthening contribution and initiatives for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s)” - a basic policy of the next medium-term management plan. ITOCHU has been involved in primary energy for many years and has a strong business relationship with steel mills and power plants, which will be consumers of hydrogen in the future.

President & Representative Director of Nippon Coke & Engineering Company, Kazuya Kage, gives an explanation about the cooperation:

"We are pleased to join ITOCHU and CMB in launching a hydrogen supply and demand study by using CMB's hydrogen multi-fuel engine, which is the world's most advanced technology. We will continue our efforts to contribute to a sustainable society by ensuring a stable hydrogen supply for the realisation of a hydrogen society."

Executive Officer of ITOCHU, Kenji Seto (President, Metals & Minerals Company), explains the partnership:

"We are honoured to partner with CMB, which has pioneering hydrogen engine technology. We believe that the cooperation between CMB, NCE and ITOCHU can prove the steps towards a carbon-free society, which is the goal of our government. The application of the hydrogen engines can be used for a passenger ship, but also for a Crew Transfer Vessels, tugboat, gensets and even land heavy equipment. CMB and ITOCHU are working together to develop the demand for hydrogen engines with the help of stable supply of hydrogen by NCE.”

In the future the three companies will determine the demand for hydrogen in the northern Kyushu Island region and obtain the necessary government approvals and licences, and then aim to launch the hydrogen supply chain in FY2023.

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