According to The Nikkei Asia, Japanese energy company Eneos and plant engineer Chiyoda will build a facility that manufactures hydrogen without carbon dioxide emissions at one-third the current cost, a breakthrough in the nation's push toward decarbonization.
The plant will use a proprietary electrolysis technology to significantly lower necessary investment, with the aim of bringing down the price of hydrogen to 330 yen, or roughly $3, per kilogram. Eneos and Chiyoda are looking at Australia and other locations as candidates to build the plant in 2030.
Hydrogen, which can power automobiles or power plants without generating CO2, is seen by some as vital to decarbonization efforts, but production costs have remained high. Hydrogen costs roughly 1,100 yen per kilogram in the Japanese market, and the government seeks to bring down the figure to 330 yen by 2030 and eventually to 220 yen.
The method developed by Eneos and Chiyoda electrolyzes both water and toluene at the same, instead of through separate processes, to create methylcyclohexane, or MCH. This simplification of the process slashes facility investment by half.
According to The Australian Financial Review, property transactions surged to record levels across the eastern states over the past 12 months, with Queensland leading the charge, underpinned by low interest rates and government incentives, data from electronic conveyancing platform PEXA shows.
Settlements in Queensland jumped by 37 per cent during the financial year ending June 2021, lifting the total volume to 203,000.
In NSW, sales settlements climbed by 26 per cent to 218,000 and in Victoria they rose by 11 per cent to 198,000.
Queensland also posted the strongest growth in the total value of transactions, racking up a 44 per cent rise to $106 billion. NSW recorded a 27 per cent increase to $186 billion and Victoria rose by a modest 8 per cent to $127 billion during the same period.
This was the first time Queensland has eclipsed Victoria’s growth in more than a decade, said PEXA’s senior research manager, Mike Gill.
According to The Asahi Shimbun, a Tokyo-based IT company developed a 3-D mapping system to reproduce data on flooding in stricken areas in almost real time based on images posted on social media.
The technology is aimed at helping rescue services and residents quickly grasp the extent of inundation in local areas.
“It (the map system) will lead to faster development of disaster management plans by municipalities and companies,” said a representative of Spectee Inc., which used artificial intelligence (AI) to develop the system.
Based on image analysis using AI, the firm automatically judged road surface conditions and detected and predicted river flooding.
According to The Asahi Shimbun, Japanese meat processors and Japan's farm ministry were late to the table as a meat-free wave primarily in Europe and the United States is bringing change to the global meat industry.
Meat suppliers are successively pitching imitation products using soybeans and other plant-derived proteins to replicate the flavors of beef, chicken and pork for household consumption.
In Japan, leading meat processors were reportedly struggling to decide whether to ride the meat-replacement wave, since their core products utilize livestock.
NH Foods Ltd. said some employees raised concerns about the possibility that the handling of meat substitutes “may sound as if we, a business selling primarily meat products, were opposing the consumption of meat.”
Thus, NH Foods repeated discussions for half a year to a year and committed itself to “realizing the taste that only a meat seller can create” based on its special combination of materials, such as soybeans and konjac, to re-create a meat-like texture.
NH Foods currently considers it as its mission to offer “various sources of proteins,” on top of meat and fish, for consumers.
According to The Australian Financial Review, Japanese trading giant Itochu has given important support for a $1 billion coal-based hydrogen energy project in Gladstone that would effectively capture its carbon emissions in soft drinks, processed foods, industrial gases ands building materials.
Itochu is set to provide an unspecified sum towards the $US20 million ($26.7 million) needed for the Gladstone Energy and Ammonia Project to reach financial close, which is targeted for late next year. The project assumes an extended role for a low-cost fossil energy-based form of hydrogen and aims to achieve commercial production by late 2024.
According to The Nikkei Asia, a biomass power plant operator in Japan is in the process of purchasing coal-fired plants from a major power company and other parties that it plans to refit so that they burn its cleaner fuel, Nikkei has learned.
eRex has entered into talks with companies that own coal-fired plants in Japan's Kanto, Hokuriku and Shikoku regions. The biomass plant operator is looking to acquire about four coal-fired plants of about 150,000kW to 500,000kW each, for tens of billions of yen.
The independent power supplier would install storage facilities and crushers needed for biomass fuel, then start operations in 2022 or later. Coal would initially be mixed with biomass, which would account for about 30% of the fuel. The plants would run solely on biomass by around 2025.
According to The Australian Financial Review, price gains for apartments are beating those for houses in a growing number of suburbs around the country, as worsening affordability and a lack of stock push buyers back into high-rise living.
Analysis by CoreLogic found that in more than 190 suburbs around the country, apartments have exceeded house price growth, with the most affluent areas posting the sharpest gains. Overall, however, detached housing prices have outperformed the unit markets for well over a year.
According to The Asahi Shimbun, a longtime staple food for Japan’s “salarymen” white-collar workers when they need a quick bite to eat is soaring to new heights.
Fast food chain operator Yoshinoya Co. and delivery service operator Demae-can Co. have tested a drone service that delivers “gyudon” beef-on-rice dishes.
In a flight demonstration for news media this month, staff at the iconic beef-bowl chain working out of a food truck near a park in the city cooked up enough mouth-watering gyudon dishes for four people.
According to The Argus Media, Iwatani aims to achieve commercial production of hydrogen in Australia and deliveries to Japan by 2030. The Brisbane office will enhance Iwatani's relationship with Australian companies and the Queensland state government, especially in terms of its green hydrogen project with Queensland state-controlled power utility Stanwell. The office will also make it easier for the firm to study the Australian market and infrastructure requirements.
The firm has experimented with generating liquified carbon-free hydrogen from brown coal in Australia's southwestern Victoria and made shipments to the Kobe hydrogen terminal in Japan's eastern Hyogo prefecture. Iwatani worked on the project as one of six members of the CO2-free Hydrogen Energy Supply-chain Technology Research Association.
Iwatani has also began feasibility studies on green hydrogen production and imports to Japan with Stanwell and Australian iron ore producer Fortescue Metals. The companies are targeting to manufacture carbon-free hydrogen by using renewable power sources such as solar and wind power.
According to The Australian Financial Review, the minerals driving decarbonisation were the big winners out of a second consecutive quarter of record cash inflows to Australia’s thriving exploration sector.
BDO analysis of the $2.37 billion pumped into pre-revenue explorers in the first three months of this year revealed a big swing towards lithium, uranium and rare earths, as exploration veteran Will Robinson said the sector was starting to show an improved success rate, thanks to new technology and strong scientific support from governments.
Gold has dominated fundraising at the small end of the mining sector in recent years, accounting for half of all funds flowing into the sector in 2020.
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