New Zealand’s first company dedicated to the supply of green hydrogen, Hiringa Energy, and global trading and investment enterprise, Mitsui & Co. have signed a strategic alliance agreement to jointly pursue hydrogen-related commercial projects in New Zealand.
Through the Strategic Alliance Agreement with Mitsui, Mitsui secures access to participate in multiple hydrogen projects developed by Hiringa including the JV project with Ballance Agri-nutrients and Hiringa’s nationwide refuelling network, which will see hydrogen refuelling stations come online throughout 2021.
Mitsui is one of the most reputable Japanese companies in the energy sector with vast experience and numerous investments in the oil & gas, power, and renewables sectors, including participation in a number of megaprojects globally.
In forming this strategic alliance, both companies are working towards a common goal of creating a viable domestic hydrogen economy and export opportunities. The parties have been discussing the potential of hydrogen in New Zealand since 2017, when Mitsui learnt of New Zealand government’s strong aspirations for green hydrogen initiatives and Hiringa’s activities.
Hiringa Chairperson Cathy Clennett says “We are very excited to announce our strategic partnership with Mitsui. Mitsui is a natural partner for Hiringa, having already made significant energy investments in New Zealand including cleantech company LanzaTech, and having considerable experience in large scale energy development and investment. Mitsui brings expertise, capital and international connections, including the capability to market hydrogen internationally, and compliments the partnerships we have been forming in New Zealand to develop the supply chain and market for green hydrogen”.
The strategic alliance builds on the New Zealand Government’s $19.9m funding investment announcement into Hiringa’s Joint Venture with Ballance Agri-Nutrients earlier this year – a $50+ million project to create green hydrogen at Ballance’s Kapuni plant in South Taranaki, and support from Hiringa’s seed investors including Sir Stephen Tindall via his investment company K One W One.
The partnership and the projects provide a significant growth opportunity for New Zealand’s economy with potential provision of multiple jobs across the supply chain that showcase New Zealand’s smart, technically advanced and capable economy. Furthermore, the resulting renewable energy infrastructure and hydrogen production will position New Zealand to be less reliant on imported fossil fuels, providing greater energy resilience and improving New Zealand’s emission profile and sustainability credentials.
Andrew Clennett, Hiringa’s Chief Executive Officer, describes Hiringa’s approach as, “repeatable, scalable, and adaptable to other countries, setting New Zealand as a global leader in the transition to a hydrogen economy. Strong partnership with our APAC neighbours will be increasingly important for our joint economic recovery and growth, leveraging New Zealand’s potential for renewable energy at large scale.”
Divisional Operating Officer of Infrastructure & Energy Division, Mitsui & Co. (Asia Pacific) Pte. Ltd. Kaoru Umehara says “This strategic alliance aligns with Mitsui’s global focus on developing next generation energy solutions as a part of our goal to transition to a low-carbon future. As the world emerges from a dramatic upheaval, hydrogen could resolve a host of pressing global issues such as security of energy supplies and greenhouse gas emissions. Mitsui looks forward to working closely with Hiringa on progressing New Zealand’s path to a global hydrogen economy.”
CEO of Mitsui & Co. (N.Z.) Ltd. Koichiro Yoneda says “Hiringa has demonstrated extensive leadership and management capabilities collaborating with hydrogen players in New Zealand and internationally and has developed a pipeline of projects and a business model that provides a pathway to a commercially viable hydrogen economy.”
The New Zealand and Japanese Governments have signed a Memorandum of Cooperation on hydrogen in 2018 to start the transition to a hydrogen economy to reduce emissions and improve energy security.