We spend 60 seconds with Hiroshi Sakuma, Executive Vice President, Group CEO, Global Environmental & Infrastructure Business Group, Mitsubishi Corporation
Are there any inspiring or exciting hydrogen related projects that you are involved in, and would like to tell us about?
We have been working with several partners to launch a pioneering project to demonstrate the viability of an international supply scheme for hydrogen. The project is receiving funding from Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization as part of the Japanese government’s efforts to support technology development to establish a “hydrogen society” and promote the large-scale utilization of hydrogen as an energy resource. Hydrogen will be produced from a natural gas liquefaction plant in Brunei, converted into liquid chemical form (methylcyclohexane) and transported to Japan. After arriving in Japan, hydrogen gas will be extracted from the liquid and supplied for use in thermal power generation. In 2020, the demonstration project expects to supply up to 210 tons of hydrogen, enough to fill approximately 40,000 fuel cell vehicles.
What most excites you about the potential for hydrogen use globally?
We believe hydrogen can play an important role in the energy transition toward a low-carbon society under the Paris Agreement. We expect our effort to establish a large-scale international hydrogen supply chain will contribute to increase the potential of the global hydrogen market.
Why did you make the decision to join the Hydrogen Council? What value do you see in this initiative and your role as a member?
We joined the Hydrogen Council because we believe it is important to have international cooperation among governmental organizations and private companies in order to make breakthroughs for current hydrogen-related issues, such as technology development, cost reduction, and regulatory support. Mitsubishi Corporation develops and operates business across virtually every industry with over 200 offices and subsidiaries in some 90 countries. We would like to make a contribution toward the realization of a hydrogen society, utilizing such business experience and networks.
When it comes to innovation, where do you look for motivation/inspiration?
Innovation is indispensable for creating a wider market of hydrogen energy. We always look for new technologies and business models. We would like to make the best combinations of production, transportation, storage and use of hydrogen in each country/region in order to realize projects with cost competitive, low-carbon hydrogen energy.