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Daily Shorts: Japanese scale up hydrogen play, US auctions wind sites in Gulf of Mexico

A Japanese-American group plans to produce e-methane in the US, which will be liquefied at the Cameron LNG terminal and exported to Japan from 2030. Image: Pexels

Japanese companies are scaling up their hydrogen act. Mitsui & Co, Mitsui Chemicals, IHI Corp and Kansai Electric said they will jointly study a hydrogen and ammonia supply chain in the Osaka coastal industrial zone. A day earlier, Eneos and Osaka Gas said they would evaluate the construction of a large, green hydrogen-based e-methane facility. E-methane, an alternative to natural gas, is synthesized from CO2 and hydrogen. Separately, Tokyo Gas, Osaka Gas, Toho Gas, Mitsubishi Corp and Sempra Infrastructure Partners announced they were studying e-methane exports to Japan from the US.

The US concluded its first-ever auction of offshore wind development rights in the Gulf of Mexico, amid lower-than-expected interest in an area more commonly home to oil rigs. German firm RWE won rights to 102,480 acres off the coast of Louisiana, but the two other leases on offer, both off Texas, received no bids. RWE's winning bid, at $5.6 million, was the lowest for such projects since the Obama administration. America is targeting 30 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030.

Orsted, the world's No 1 offshore wind farm developer, said it anticipated an impairment of up to $730 million on its US assets, due to the increasing risk that suppliers might not be able to deliver components. The Danish company made the announcement while declaring that its Ocean Wind 1, Sunrise Wind, and Revolution Wind projects had been affected by supplier delays. The wind power industry is struggling after the Covid pandemic disrupted supply chains and the war in Ukraine increased prices. Some have pitched for government money.

Maersk's first green vessel, powered by green methanol from OCI Global, has reached Rotterdam from South Korea. The ship, which left Hyundai Mipo Dockyard on July 10, also refuelled in Singapore before continuing on its 21,500 km journey. Maersk, which has ordered 24 more such ships, plans to the name the vessel once it reaches Copenhagen next month. Green methanol is a low-carbon fuel produced from renewable feedstocks, including hydrogen and biomethane. The global shipping industry is aiming to reach Net Zero by 2050.

Europe's dependency on fossil fuels has waned. The EU produced only a third of its power from fossil fuels during the first half of this year, the lowest according to data going back to 1990 and down from 38 percent last year. One of the biggest drivers was lower demand. The bloc used ~5 percent less power than last year, which allowed renewable sources to meet a larger proportion of requirement, the think tank Ember said. Independent assessments suggest the continent could save €100 billion on power bills due to renewables. 

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Author : Mandar Bakre
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