CANBERRA, AAP – Australia is exporting the world’s first load of liquefied hydrogen to Japan as part of a new energy supply chain pilot program.

The federal government will commit an additional $7.5 million to support the next phase of the hydrogen energy supply chain project, known as HESC, which aims to produce 225,000 tonnes of carbon neutral liquefied hydrogen each year.

The government estimates that will reduce emissions by 1.8 million tonnes a year – or the equivalent of taking 350,000 petrol cars off the road.

The hydrogen will be produced in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley, about 150km east of Melbourne.

It will be produced from local brown coal with carbon emissions captured and stored in the CarbonNet project’s offshore reservoir in the state’s Gippsland region.

The government has also put aside an additional $20 million for the next stage of the CarbonNet project, contingent on additional funding commitments from the Victorian and Japanese governments as well as HECS business partners.

The first load will be shipped from Victoria to Japan following the arrival of the purpose built Suiso Frontier carrier which is able to transit the super-cooled liquid hydrogen.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the shipment heralded a new energy export industry.

“A successful Australian hydrogen industry means lower emissions, greater energy production and more local jobs,” Mr Morrison said.

“The HESC project puts Australia at the forefront of the global energy transition to lower emissions through clean hydrogen, which is a fuel of the future.”