Potential for liquefied hydrogen investigated to power Keppel’s data centres

Five industry partners will jointly study the technical and commercial viability of a liquified hydrogen (LH2) supply chain, including the feasibility of having a production and liquefaction plant and export terminal at the exporting country, transportation via ocean-going tankers, as well as an import terminal, storage units and regasification facilities in Singapore.

Keppel Data Centres, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Linde Gas Singapore, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, and Vopak LNG have entered a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to jointly explore the concept development of a supply infrastructure to bring LH2 into Singapore to power Keppel’s data centres.

The study is expected to continue till the end of 2021. At that juncture, the partners will decide on the next phase of their collaboration.

The partners envision that the LH2 supply infrastructure will benefit data centre facilities such as the floating data centre park project in Singapore that Keppel Data Centres is currently pursuing.

There is growing interest worldwide in the use of hydrogen as an energy source because its combustion does not emit carbon dioxide. In its liquid state, hydrogen occupies 800 times less volume compared to its gaseous state, allowing for more compact and efficient storage and transportation. As such, LH2 is gaining traction as a compelling clean energy alternative for land-scarce markets.

“In line with Keppel’s Vision 2030, which puts sustainability at the heart of the Group’s strategy, Keppel Data Centres is working hard to decarbonise our operations,” Wong Wai Meng, CEO of Keppel Data Centres, said. “We are actively tapping the capabilities of the Keppel Group as well as working with industry partners to explore a range of green solutions such as hydrogen, floating data centres and CCUS (carbon capture, utilisation, and sequestration) technologies. With this MOU, we take another step in our journey to use sustainable energy sources for power generation.”

Dr Motohiko Nishimura, the executive officer and deputy general manager of hydrogen strategy division of Kawasaki, added that Kawasaki is promoting a LH2 supply chain pilot demonstration project for the first time in the world. “We have accumulated experience and expertise in LH2 technology, including the world’s first LH2 carrier, hydrogen liquefaction facility, LH2 storage tank and LH2 handling facility with loading arm system,” he added.

“Kawasaki will contribute to the establishment of LH2 supply infrastructure by providing optimal solutions to Keppel Data Centres. We are excited to join this innovative project led by Keppel and look forward to our five companies’ collaboration contributing to decarbonisation and sustainability in Singapore.”

David Burns, vice president of clean energy, Linde, explained that hydrogen is a powerful energy carrier and is expected to play a significant role in the reduction of carbon emissions, as part of the larger energy transition that is currently underway. “Due to its versatile nature, hydrogen can be used for many applications, including the decarbonisation of data centres,” he continued “We are proud to be working with Keppel and other partners in the development of a climate-friendly solution for their operations in Singapore.”

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