INPEX’s stake in Japan Suiso Energy strengthens hydrogen chain

Kawasaki Heavy Industries (Kawasaki), Iwatani Corporation (Iwatani), and INPEX Corporation (INPEX) have officially announced a shareholder agreement for INPEX to acquire shares in Japan Suiso Energy, Ltd. (JSE), a collaborative venture between Kawasaki and Iwatani.

With INPEX’s acquisition of JSE shares, Kawasaki has entered into a stock transfer agreement with INPEX to transfer a portion of its JSE holdings. The new equity distribution for the parties sees Kawasaki with 36.6%, Iwatani with 33.4%, and INPEX with 30.0%.

In a global push for decarbonisation, hydrogen holds the potential to enhance energy security due to its flexibility in production from various raw materials, diversification of procurement sources and extended storage capabilities.

The Japanese government’s “Basic Hydrogen Strategy,” recently updated in June 2023, targets the introduction of up to three million tonnes of hydrogen per year by 2030, followed by ambitious goals of 12m tonnes in 2040 and 20 million tons in 2050.

This strategy also aims for a hydrogen supply cost of approximately 30 yen ($0.30) per normal cubic meter by 2030 and 20 yen ($0.13) per normal cubic meter by 2050 on a CIF basis. To achieve these targets and ensure a large-scale, cost-effective hydrogen supply, Japan, being an island nation, aims to establish an international hydrogen supply chain with a focus on maritime transportation.

JSE is currently involved in the “Liquefied Hydrogen Supply Chain Commercialisation Demonstration Project,” which was selected by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization’s (NEDO) Green Innovation Fund project in August 2021.

This initiative aims to develop hydrogen liquefaction and transportation technology on a scale of tens of thousands of tonnes per year to facilitate commercialisation in the 2030s and to create a comprehensive international liquefied hydrogen supply chain spanning from Australia to Japan.

As a Japanese exploration and production company, INPEX plays a key role in delivering sustainable energy to Japan and other nations. Equipped with over 30 years of experience in the sector, INPEX became the first Japanese company to operate a large-scale LNG project – the Ichthys LNG Project – in Australia.

By establishing a robust international liquefied hydrogen supply chain at a commercial scale, the partners aim to advance Japanese government’s hydrogen targets and the broader mission of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

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