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Hokkaido mulls hydrogen, ammonia use at Japan gas units

Hokkaido mulls hydrogen, ammonia use at Japan gas units


Japan’s northernmost utility Hokkaido Electric Power is considering using hydrogen or ammonia at its planned two combined-cycle gas-turbine (CCGT) units at the Ishikariwan-Shinko power plant, to help achieve the country’s 2050 decarbonisation goal.

Hokkaido has decided to postpone the start-up of the two 569.4MW CCGT units at Ishikariwan-Shinko to study the possibility of burning hydrogen and ammonia at the new facilities. The company now targets commissioning the No.2 unit in December 2030 and No.3 unit in December 2035, pushed back from December 2026 and December 2030, respectively.

Hokkaido currently operates only one gas-fired power unit, the 569.4MW No.1 Ishikariwan-Shinko CCGT unit. The delay in the start-up of the other two CCGT units will cap the company’s LNG demand at current levels over the next four years at least. Hokkaido consumed 359,000t of LNG from April-December 2020.

The Japanese government has been aggressively promoting the use of hydrogen and ammonia, as part of its action plan to achieve its 2050 carbon-neutral goal. The country’s potential hydrogen demand is estimated at a maximum of 3mn t/yr in 2030, with ammonia use also targeted at 3mn t/yr in the same year.

Japanese energy firm Iwatani yesterday announced it would launch a study into developing a large-scale blue hydrogen production and supply chain project using untapped brown coal resources on Hokkaido island. But it is unclear if Iwatani and Hokkaido will work together on a hydrogen project in the future.

Source: Motoko Hasegawa
Anand Gupta Editor - EQ Int'l Media Network