GEV powers ahead with green hydrogen supply chain solution

2 May 2022

Australian energy transition company Global Energy Ventures (GEV) is powering ahead with its ambitious plan to be first to market with a road map for a complete, price-competitive zero emissions export supply chain for green hydrogen.

The company is at the leading edge of Australia’s growing hydrogen industry, which is tipped to be a major global force by 2030.

Global energy research and consultancy group Wood Mackenzie is forecasting that seaborne trade of hydrogen will grow to 150 million tonnes annually by 2050, thus requiring solutions for mid-range and long-distance storage and transport.

GEV has developed an approach to hydrogen transport that includes simple and energy efficient technologies that could help European and Asian energy companies reduce the regional delivered cost of hydrogen.

The rise of hydrogen as a clean fuel alternative

GEV was established in 2016. The company identified a niche opportunity to commercialise a compressed gas shipping supply chain. This included a new class of ship.

The company secured construction approval for a new vessel for compressed natural gas, but then shifted its focus to green hydrogen in 2020.

GEV-hydrogen

GEV's proposed compressed hydrogen ships will offer a clean, price-competitive transport solution.

GEV Managing Director Martin Carolan says several factors led to the shift. The first was the emergence of net zero emissions mandates. The rise of hydrogen as a green fuel and the need for a viable transport alternative for hydrogen also influenced the move.

‘All we had to do was retool our IP platform to go from natural gas to hydrogen. We managed to successfully develop that program over the past two years and are now at the point where we are progressing shipping approvals in 2023 and now seeking commercialisation activities,’ he says.

‘The business model was previously just shipping, but now we’ve expanded that into an integrated renewable hydrogen company. We are now developing upstream projects – to produce renewable power for electrolysis to produce hydrogen gas for export.

‘And we’ve integrated those projects with our complete supply chain solution: being compression, loading terminal, a shipping fleet and receiving terminal.’

Green hydrogen exports: from the Tiwi Islands to Asia

A key element of GEV’s mission to be first to market is an export project under development in the Tiwi Islands in the Northern Territory.

The project will focus on markets in the Asia-Pacific region. It will serve as a gateway for large scale exports of compressed green hydrogen.

The company plans to export up to 100,000 tonnes of green hydrogen from 2026, with upside for growth subject to further approvals and demand.

Carolan says as a location, the Tiwi Islands provided several advantages, including its close distance to target markets that would help keep the delivered price of hydrogen competitive.

GEV has received permissions and strong support from the local Munupi landowners and the Northern Territory government. Pending environmental approvals, it plans to repurpose land from areas of underperforming forestry to a solar farm.

There is also an established port which is suitable for export using GEV’s shipping solution.

Carolan says the project would benefit the Tiwi Island people by delivering them a multi-generational asset. It would also provide stable long-term economic, social and employment benefits.

Shipping solution for a green energy transition

Compressed green hydrogen will be shipped on purpose-built vessels from the Tiwi Islands, under current plans. GEV hopes to have construction-ready approval by the middle of next year.

‘We have approval in principle so that means our design concept satisfies the regulatory codes for the class of shipping. Now we need to complete detail design and undergo some testing to demonstrate the design meets those classification rules,’ says Carolan.

‘All of the engineering is progressing and then we will build a prototype of the tank cargo vessel and test that to show its integrity against the design.’

Building connections globally

Singapore is GEV’s current market focus. However, the company is working with the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) to establish offtake and investment connections in Japan and Korea.

‘Singapore, Korea and Japan are the three most advanced markets in terms of looking for product in that 2026-2030 window,’ says Carolan.

‘Any other markets that start to develop which are closer to Australia we’ll look at those as well.’

The Australian High Commission in Singapore supported GEV’s recent roadshow. Officials helped make connections with government agencies that will be involved in approving the port facility.

‘One of the advantages we add to the receiving end is that we have a very small footprint,’ says Carolan. ‘Our capital requirements onshore for receiving are a fraction of what they would be for liquefaction or Ammonia-based solutions.

‘For countries such as Singapore - which has a scarcity of land and availability of terminal access - we offer real advantages.’

Shipping technology could be used in Europe

The company has also engaged Austrade teams in Korea and Japan to market the company’s projects to potential offtake technology partners and those looking for investments in the upstream supply chains of renewables and hydrogen.

As well as Asia, GEV’s shipping solution is highly suitable to the European market, as it can be used to ship hydrogen within the region.

For example, hydrogen produced in Portugal and Morocco could be shipped to other parts of Europe using GEV’s Compressed Hydrogen ships, with a number of proposed H2-ready ports and demand hubs located less than 2,000 nautical miles from supply.

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For more information on Global Energy Ventures, visit: www.gev.com