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Singapore exploring hydrogen storage in its energy transition

Singapore exploring hydrogen storage in its energy transition
Photo courtesy of Chiyoda Corporation

Japan’s Mitsubishi Corporation and Chiyoda Corporation have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Singapore’s Sembcorp Industries to explore the feasibility and implementation of a commercial-scale, decarbonized hydrogen supply chain in Singapore, as part of the island-nation’s energy transition. Sembcorp is one of the largest homegrown renewable energy players in Singapore, with more than 3,300 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy capacity globally. The company’s renewable energy portfolio comprises wind, solar and energy storage in key markets such as Singapore, Vietnam, China, India and the UK.

The business will take advantage of Chiyoda’s proven hydrogen storage and transportation technology, “SPERA Hydrogen”. SPERA Hydrogen is an organic chemical hydride (OCH) hydrogen storage and transportation technology. LOHC (liquid organic hydrogen carrier) technologies allow hydrogen to be safely transported in chemical tankers at normal atmospheric temperature and pressure.

Potentially, the MoU will enable Sembcorp to supply carbon-neutral hydrogen to customers both within and outside Singapore’s Jurong Island for fuel, chemical feedstock and other applications and support the growth in the emerging hydrogen segment in Singapore and other markets.

Singapore’s energy transition strategy

Singapore’s Long-Term Low-Emissions Development Strategy (LEDS) aspires to halve emissions from the country’s expected 2030 peak to 33 million tons of CO2 equivalent by 2050, with a goal to achieve net-zero emissions as soon as possible in the second half of the century. Singapore has positioned the introduction of hydrogen and low-carbon technologies as significant initiatives to achieve this goal. By promoting such initiatives, Singapore is aiming to transition to an enhanced energy system that balances environmental and economic considerations with reliability and sustainability.

In May 2021, the Japanese Government announced the Asia Energy Transition Initiative (AETI) that aims to support the achievement of sustainable economic growth and carbon neutrality in Asia. The governments of Japan and Singapore have commenced dialogue on the energy transition. Under the AETI, Japan will support Singapore’s energy transition leveraged by Japanese companies’ technology, such as Chiyoda’s “SPERA Hydrogen” and commercialization thereof.

In signing this MoU, the business will combine Sembcorp’s know-how in energy with both Chiyoda’s above-mentioned technology and Mitsubishi Corporation’s project development expertise and industry-wide global network. 

Mitsubishi Corp. also announced that “although we will be building this supply chain to serve Singapore’s market, we intend to source clean, carbon-free hydrogen from outside the country.”