THP-E100: A Joint Hydrogen Feasibility Study Raises An Interesting Question On The Best Way To Transport Hydrogen Overseas. And Could New Mexico Really Become The Main Hydrogen Hub For The United States?

March 21, 2022 • Paul Rodden • Season: 2022 • Episode: 100

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Welcome to The Hydrogen Podcast!

In episode 100, News from PETRONAS and ENEOS could boost hydrogen shipping and universal hydrogen picks a new manufacturing hub. All of this on today’s hydrogen podcast.

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Paul Rodden



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News from PETRONAS and ENEOS could boost hydrogen shipping and universal hydrogen picks a new manufacturing hub. All of this on today’s hydrogen podcast.

So the big questions in the energy industry today are, how is hydrogen the primary driving force behind the evolution of energy? Where is capital being deployed for hydrogen projects globally? And where are the best investment opportunities for early adopters who recognize the importance of hydrogen? I will address the critical issues and give you the information you need to deploy capital. Those are the questions that will unlock the potential of hydrogen and this podcast will give you the answers. My name is Paul Rodden. Welcome to the hydrogen podcast.

In a press release on March 11, PETRONAS partners with ENEOS for first commercial scale hydrogen to MCH project. On March 11th of 2022, PETRONAS hydrogen Sdn Bhd and ENEOS Corporation has signed a joint feasibility study agreement to advance the studies for a commercial hydrogen production and conversion project in Kerteh, Terengganu. Under the JFSA, both parties will pursue detailed technical and commercial feasibility studies for the production of low carbon hydrogen from PETRONAS existing facilities, production of green hydrogen from a new hydropower electrolyzer facility and hydrogen conversion into MCH. The agreement is part of a long term Memorandum of Understanding signed last August for the development of a clean hydrogen supply chain between Malaysia and Japan. The facilities are projected to have a total hydrogen production and conversion capacity of up to 50,000 tonnes per year by 2027.

For export in MCH form to Japan, where the clean hydrogen will be distributed to Japanese industries through ENEOS refineries. Once on stream, the project could potentially be the first commercial scale hydrogen to MCH undertaking in the world. Its final investment decision is expected by the end of 2023. Through ENEOS, this hydrogen to MCH project has been selected as one of the Green Innovation Fund projects by the Japanese government, a testament to the project’s viability and competitiveness, which is a critical aspect in the development of the nascent clean hydrogen supply chain. The 2 trillion Japanese yen funding was introduced to support green research and development projects, as well as facility developments to propel Japan’s ambitious decarbonisation plans, which include achieving 3 million tons per year of clean hydrogen demand targeted by 2030.

Along with this project, and as part of the scope of collaboration or the memorandum of understanding, PETRONAS and ENEOS are exploring other hydrogen projects and technology opportunities, both domestically and internationally. This collaboration is intended to develop a competitive hydrogen supply chain, which is a crucial element for both parties decarbonization agendas, PETRONAS continues to strengthen its position in hydrogen following its venture into this space at the end of 2020. Since then, it has entered into several strategic partnerships with international and domestic players to grow its hydrogen production capabilities, and deliver networks covering low carbon and green hydrogen. Recently, the company announced that it will set up a new independent entity focused fully on cleaner energy solutions and will capture opportunities in the energy transition alongside its core portfolio.

The entity will provide customers with low carbon solutions through three initial core offerings, renewables, hydrogen, and green mobility. Okay, so some fun news coming out of Southeast Asia. Now we know that liquid hydrogen shipments are already underway from Australia to Japan. But that being said, I really like this MCH angle on transporting hydrogen overseas. Now the debate is still going on about the best medium to transport hydrogen overseas, whether it be ammonia, DME, MCH, or liquefied hydrogen. All of these technologies have their own perks and drawbacks, and so I’ll be curious to see in the next coming years, whether one of these technologies comes out as a winner or if all of them come into play in some form or fashion for transporting hydrogen. Next, in a press release on March 10 2022, Universal Hydrogen picks New Mexico for a major manufacturing hub, the company will hire hundreds in Albuquerque to decarbonize aviation and other heavy transportation sectors.

A company with a mission to enable carbon free fuel and reduce the climate impact of air travel will build a manufacturing and distribution center in New Mexico with a goal of hiring hundreds of employees and Albuquerque. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and the company announced on March 10 Universal hydrogen has chosen a fifth 50 acre parcel of property northeast of the passenger terminal at the Albuquerque International Sunport to manufacture and distribute its hydrogen storage modules. Assemble aircraft retrofit kits, perform aftermarket maintenance services and manage administrative activities. The location includes access to a runway and the potential future reclamation of a rail spur south of the Sunport. New Mexico will be at the heart of the company’s mission to decarbonize hard to abate greenhouse gas emissions in aviation, ground transportation and heavy industry to help the United States meet the Paris Agreement goals. The company also has facilities in California, Washington State, and Toulouse, France.

In a quote from Governor Lujan Grisham, this project puts New Mexico and universal hydrogen at the center of the global effort to decarbonize transportation, and aviation, in particular, hydrogen, solar, wind and alternative energy. Our job rich industries and New Mexico’s partnership with these companies are part of a forward thinking model to create a robust and diversified economy, while being a part of the solution when it comes to climate change. And according to US, Senator Martin Heinrich aviation is going to be one of the most difficult sectors of our economy to decarbonize the clean hydrogen capsules, the universal hydrogen plans to manufacture in Albuquerque will be essential to reducing carbon pollution in air transportation, a major contributor to our climate crisis. I’m proud to welcome all of the jobs and investment that universal hydrogen is bringing to New Mexico. Now universal hydrogen will spend one to two years on the planning and construction of its New Mexico facilities, with the goal of commencing full scale manufacturing by 2024.

It anticipates investing over $254 million in New Mexico and aims to hire 500 employees over the next seven years. These jobs will include highly skilled engineers and composite technicians with attractive salaries and benefits. The state of New Mexico is pledging 10 million from the Local Economic Development Act, job creating fund, the City of Albuquerque will serve as a fiscal agent and is considering providing additional funding from its local economic development fund. The construction project alone is expected to generate over 1200 jobs and the manufacturing and distribution center is expected to have an economic impact of over $700 million over the next 10 years. And a quote from the Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Alicia J keys with two federal Department of Energy Research Labs and a skilled workforce. The future for new innovative energy technology is here in New Mexico.

Governor Lujan Grisham is getting it and she thinks big. New Mexico is now competing for sophisticated companies with highly paid jobs and winning. The economic assistance is pending support from Albuquerque city council and will be paid out as universal hydrogen reaches economic development benchmarks as agreed to in a pending project Participation Agreement. Universal hydrogen is also pursuing federal programs to help scale its manufacturing and production capabilities. Universal hydrogen has signed a letter of intent with the City of Albuquerque for 50 of the 80 acres once occupied by a North South runway that was decommissioned in 2012. Over the past several years, the aviation department’s Business Development Division has been marketing the shovel ready site to aviation, aerospace and r&d companies.

Universal hydrogen is uniquely positioned to address the hydrogen value chain for aviation, both for hydrogen fuel distribution and hydrogen powered airplanes. The company utilizes proprietary capsules that safely store hydrogen during transit, and serve as modular tanks that are loaded directly onto the aircraft. The technology will underpin a logistics network that can move hydrogen from production facilities to airports over existing freight infrastructure, eliminating the need for costly new pipelines tankers and hydrogen storage facilities. The company is also developing powertrain conversion kits to retrofit existing regional turboprop aircraft, including the dash eight 300 and ATR 72. To enable these aircraft to fly on hydrogen, thus far has agreements with 11 air carriers to retrofit nearly 100 regional airplanes with a goal of being FAA certified and in commercial service by 2025.

After demonstrating success with regional aircraft, universal hydrogen plans to apply its modular fueling solution to larger commercial airplanes, as well as drones, industrial equipment, and ground transportation all domains with a high carbon footprint that will require hydrogen to meet pollution reduction goals. And a quote from John Gordon, co founder and general counsel for universal hydrogen Hydrogen is the best and only scalable solution to truly decarbonize aviation. And we want to bring it to market decades sooner than anyone thought possible by 2025. Gordon said the company chose Albuquerque for manufacturing and distribution, because of its strategic location that allows the company to leverage air, rail and the interstate highway system, as well as robust partnerships and governments, industry and research institutions.

He continues by saying, I can’t imagine a better place to be, we need a highly skilled workforce and we need it immediately. We see New Mexico as a place that will give our employees and affordable high quality of life with access to culture and the outdoors. It’s really a dream location. He added that both Senator Heinrich and Governor Lujan Grisham are rare among elected officials and fully appreciating the transformative economic effect of sustainable hydrogen, including its ability to reduce our reliance on hydrocarbons. Okay, so even more big news to come out of New Mexico. And that state is making great strides in advancing the hydrogen economy. And if the state continues to build on their recent success of bringing in hydrogen manufacturing and technology, they could very easily become the hydrogen hub of the US, not just the southern US, but the entire United States. And the only other thing I’ll touch on briefly, is that within the last couple of weeks, there seems to be a lot of hydrogen aviation news and communication going on. And it seems to me that that industry has really started to take notice of what hydrogen can do, not just for their carbon impact, but ultimately lowering their fuel costs.

Alright, that’s it for me everyone. If you have any questions, comments or concerns about today’s episode, come visit me at my website at, or you can always email me at I would really love to hear from you. And as always, take care. Stay safe. I’ll talk to you later.

Hey, this is Paul. I hope you’d like this podcast. If you did and want to hear more. I’d appreciate it if you would either subscribe to this channel on YouTube, or connect with your favorite platform through my website at Thanks for listening. I very much appreciate it. Have a great day.