As 2021 heads towards a close, Global Energy Ventures (ASX: GEV) has positioned itself at the forefront of the rapidly emerging green hydrogen economy with its strategy to provide the “missing link” using its proprietary compressed hydrogen shipping technology.
The company’s compressed shipping supply chain solution has been developed to enable the economic transport of green hydrogen from production sites to consumers where shipping is over a regional distance of up to 4,000 nautical miles.
COP26 reinforced the thematic of the world’s developed countries increasing their investment into renewable energy solutions in a bid to achieve net zero carbon targets, with green hydrogen becoming increasingly popular due to its ability to decarbonise the hard to abate energy hungry industries as well as the displacement of circa 80Mt of grey hydrogen produced today which does not capture its carbon emission in the process
With the green hydrogen economy rapidly developing and investors clamouring to bring projects online, Global Energy Ventures has noted a key component of the economy’s eventual success has been overlooked – simple and efficient bulk-scale transportation solutions of green hydrogen from project sites to consumers worldwide.
Mounting hydrogen demand
This situation arises amid increasing demand for the energy which is forecast to grow “significantly”.
Global consulting company Roland Berger has published a report predicting demand for clean hydrogen in Europe alone will exceed 45 million tonnes by 2050.
The report Hydrogen transportation: the key to unlocking the clean hydrogen economy notes many end-uses like transportation, heating, and heavy industry will likely turn to hydrogen as a viable green energy solution as the world decarbonises.
“Clean hydrogen will become a cornerstone of the energy transition and decarbonisation efforts around the globe,” the report stated.
Analyst Goldman Sachs expects clean hydrogen will have a €10 trillion (A$15.6 trillion) addressable market by 2050.
Meanwhile, more than 30 countries have established hydrogen strategies with US$70 billion (A$97.2 billion) in public funding already committed to implementing hydrogen technologies.
Wood Mackenzie anticipates low-carbon hydrogen demand worldwide will reach 530Mt by 2050 – with about 150Mt of that to be traded on the seaborne market.
Key to unlocking hydrogen economy
With such a large wall of mounting demand heading our way, the report says large-scale transportation solutions for green hydrogen have been “overlooked” and are critical to its success.
The report points out that green hydrogen is mostly likely to be produced at remote and renewable-rich areas.
However, the highest demand will come from heavily industrialised and densely populated regions.
The need to be able to transport hydrogen from the remote production areas to where it is needed is an “oversight” that needs to be “urgently addressed”.
“Global supply and demand centres will soon need to be connected to serve the growing demand for clean hydrogen – for example, steel production, yet cost-efficient hydrogen transport methods remain elusive,” the report stated.
The ‘missing link’
Global Energy Ventures’ offers the “missing link” to ensuring hydrogen is transported from production sites to where its needed in a simple and efficient process of compression that is a proven technology, unlike other carriers choosing to liquefy to minus 253 degrees or convert ammonia back to hydrogen using a process known as “cracking”.
The company aims to build, own and operate the production, storage and shipping of green hydrogen worldwide.
A scoping study that was published in March this year, revealed Global Energy Ventures’ compressed shipping solution was economically competitive when modelled a 100% green supply chain and compared to shipping liquefied hydrogen or ammonia in volumes of 200,000 tonnes per annum and distances up to 4,000 nautical miles
It also demonstrated the approach to using compressed shipping technology had a smaller footprint by removing highly complex capital intensive processes, enabling a modular approach to development .
The proposed supply chain works by using renewable energy such as wind and solar to generate a green hydrogen, which would then be compressed and loaded onto one of Global Energy Ventures’ patented ships.
Hydrogen is then transported in its compressed state to its destination where it is unloaded, decompressed and piped or trucked to the end users.
Construction decision in early 2023
In order to use its technology to feed the missing link in the global hydrogen supply chain, Global Energy Ventures is targeting a construction decision for its pilot-scale 430-tonne ship by early 2023.
The company has already secured approvals in principle for its proposed 430t and larger 2,000t ship designs.
It expects its 430t vessel will be transporting its first cargos in 2026, with the larger 2,000t vessel to be operational by 2030.
Tiwi Island green hydrogen project
To ensure it has clean hydrogen to ship, Global Energy Ventures is accelerating development of its Tiwi Island project north of Darwin in the Northern Territory.
By combining its compressed shipping solution and Tiwi Island project, Global Energy Ventures plans to develop a fully-integrated production and export supply chain that transports up to 100,000t a year of green hydrogen throughout the Asia Pacific.