J-Power Latrobe Valley Facility
HRL is a participant in the world-first Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC) Project. J-Power Latrobe Valley (JPLV) awarded HRL the contract for operation and maintenance of the new gasification and hydrogen refining pilot plant in the Latrobe Valley, Victoria. HRL commenced site work on the project in June 2020 and took responsibility for the site and operations in November 2020.
There are many hydrogen projects underway across the globe as part of a transition to lower carbon technologies in the energy sector.
The Australian HESC project ($496 million) has support from both the Federal and Victorian State Governments ($50 million each). The main project partners are: Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI), J-POWER, Iwatani Corporation, Marubeni Corporation, AGL Energy Limited, Sumitomo Corporation, Shell, Nippon Oil and "K" Line. JPLV is responsible for the HESC LV gasification and hydrogen production pilot plant.
There has been great collaboration between HRL and the other key stakeholders involved in the pilot plant: J-Power, AGL Energy Limited, GHD, O&M, Federation University and Australian Carbon Innovation.
The project is designed to demonstrate the entire supply-chain from winning of raw feed, production of hydrogen gas (H2) by gasification, liquefying of hydrogen (LH2) and storage at the Port of Hastings, and shipping of the liquefied product to Kobe, Japan.
HRL has a team of experienced pilot plant operators on site engaged on the plant. Chris Patterson from HRL is the site superintendent for the pilot plant project. The initial phase of their work involved preparation of operations documentation, policies and procedures, including safety. The second phase was to commission the plant and train personnel. The final phase will be to operate and maintain the plant.
The HRL analytical team is providing all analysis services for the J-Power Latrobe Valley (JPLV) gasification and hydrogen refining pilot plant.
The plant is complex and requires a deep understanding of the technologies involved. HRL's extensive experience in the development of other gasification pilot and demonstration plants has given it a unique ability to assist the Client with many technical issues.
As well as the technical challenges, there have been supply issues as a result of the global pandemic, with delays to the supply of equipment, and the subsequent construction and commissioning of the plant.
These challenges have been overcome and HRL has safely and successfully managed the commissioning of the plant with the first hydrogen gas being produced on 23 January 2021.