According to The Australian Financial Review, the Japanese backers of a controversial project to convert Victoria’s brown coal into liquid hydrogen for export are warning that the $3 billion development will not go ahead without clearer signs of support from the state and federal government.
The Albanese government’s decision to rule out fossil-fuel-based projects from its $2 billion Hydrogen Headstart funding scheme has intensified worries voiced this year by Kawasaki Heavy Industries and others involved in the project that the policy settings around carbon capture and storage in particular are not supportive.
The Japanese government – through its Green Innovation Fund – agreed this year to allocate about $2.35 billion of funding to the Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain project that will use carbon capture and storage to help convert the coal into hydrogen that could be shipped to Japan.
But the funds will only be disbursed when milestones have been reached, and Yuko Fukuma at Kawasaki’s Japan Suiso Energy, the group leading the development, said that a final decision on the next phase – a $3 billion commercial demonstration project – required “consistency in messaging” from governments to give the backers confidence to move forward.
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