ENEOS, Sumitomo eye collaboration on Malaysia hydrogen supply chain
Plan involves converting gas into MCH for transport to Japan and other overseas markets
28 Oct 2020 | Michael Marray

ENEOS Corporation has signed a memorandum of understanding with SEDC Energy Sdn Bhd and Sumitomo Corporation to consider working together on the establishment of a CO2-free hydrogen supply chain using renewable energy, and will commence a feasibility study in January 2021.

ENEOS said the supply chain under consideration involves the production of several tens of thousands of tonnes of CO2-free hydrogen using renewable-energy-derived electric power generated at hydroelectric power stations in Sarawak, Malaysia, and the conversion of the hydrogen into methylcyclohexane (MCH), which is an efficient means for transport to markets outside Malaysia using chemical tankers.

ENEOS is in charge of the process, from MCH production to marine transport, and will carry out engineering studies for equipment specifications in accordance with the size of the Japanese market. Sumitomo will conduct a feasibility assessment of the process from hydroelectric power generation to hydrogen production, and SEDC Energy will provide overall support, including location selection and site surveys.

Sarawak has abundant hydropower resources. Hydroelectric power stations there currently operate at a total capacity of 3.5 GW, with plans for an additional 1.3 GW by 2025. As hydroelectric power output is relatively stable, surplus power can be utilized for water electrolysis, enabling stable, low-cost production of CO2-free hydrogen. In addition, Bintulu, the planned site for the project, has a large petrochemical industry whose existing facilities and infrastructure, including tanks, loading equipment, port and berths, can be used for MCH export.

Based on the results of this collaboration, ENEOS said it will consider the creation of other projects directly linked to the hydrogen supply. Specifically, it will assess the feasibility of using the dehydrogenated CO2-free hydrogen transported to Japan in its refineries and nearby thermal power plants, as well as supply to Asian nations such as Malaysia and Singapore.

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