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A Japanese-Australian venture producing hydrogen from brown coal is set to ship its maiden cargo on the world’s first liquid hydrogen carrier from near Melbourne to Kobe on Friday, in a test delayed by nearly a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Suiso Frontier, built by Japan’s Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) (7012.T), arrived on Friday from Kobe, in southern Japan, following a longer trip than the expected 16 days as the owners sought to avoid bad weather and rough seas, said a spokesperson for the venture, called the Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC).

Led by KHI, HESC is a A$500 million ($360 million) project backed by the Japanese and Australian governments as a way to switch to cleaner energy and cut carbon emissions.

Hydrogen, seen as a path to decarbonising industries that rely on coal, gas and oil, is key to Japan’s goal to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. Australia aims to become a major exporter of the fuel.

[Sonali Paul]

More: World’s first hydrogen tanker to ship test cargo from Australia to Japan

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