Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and Chiyoda Corp. will jointly launch a project to build the world’s first offshore hydrogen production plant, NHK reported Friday.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, a major shipbuilder, and Chiyoda, which develops hydrogen production technology, aim to create a ship-type plant to produce hydrogen from gas formed at ocean oil drilling sites, according to industry sources.
Because the plant can be operated close to offshore oil fields, it can contribute to largely cutting costs for transportation of gas, the sources said.
The firms have received approval on the basic design of the plant from Nippon Kaiji Kyokai, which oversees offshore facilities, and plan to complete it by 2020, according to the report.
Demand for hydrogen is likely to increase as the government is actively encouraging the use of the energy. Toyota Motor Corp. plans to start selling hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles at the end of this year. However, concerns remain over whether it is possible to secure a stable supply of hydrogen at reasonable prices.