Obayashi Corporation selected as equity partner for Hydrogen Refuelling Station Project by Ports of Auckland Limited

By June 23, 2021 4   min read  (677 words)

June 23, 2021 |

Fuel Cells Works, Obayashi Corporation selected as equity partner for Hydrogen Refuelling Station Project by Ports of Auckland Limited
  • Undertaking its 2nd hydrogen project in New Zealand

Obayashi Corporation (Head Office: Minato-ku, Tokyo, President: Kenji Hasuwa) has been selected as the equity partner for the Hydrogen Refuelling Station Project (“Project”) being developed by the Ports of Auckland Limited (“POAL” Headquarters: Auckland, New Zealand, CEO: Tony Gibson).

POAL is the largest import port in New Zealand and is wholly owned by Auckland Council, the local government council for the Auckland Region.

In 2020, the New Zealand government announced an ambitious goal of 100 percent renewable electricity generation by 2030, from the current level of around 80%. The government is also actively promoting a wider use of hydrogen and set out “A vision for Hydrogen in New Zealand” (*1) that discusses how hydrogen could fit into New Zealand’s wider energy and transport system.

Against this backdrop, POAL, the operator of a seaport in New Zealand’s largest commercial city Auckland and inland ports in Auckland and Waikato, has committed to becoming a “zero-emissions entity” (*2) by 2040. As part of this commitment, POAL has been planning to develop a low emissions green hydrogen production facility and refuelling station at the POAL site located in the busy city centre. POAL aims to replace its existing heavy port equipment with hydrogen powered alternatives. In undertaking this forward-looking project, Obayashi, known for its state-of-the-art technologies and hydrogen project experience, has been selected as POAL’s project equity partner.

Since 2014, Obayashi has recognized the significant potential of renewable energy in New Zealand, and in 2018, together with its local partner Tuaropaki Trust (*3), which owns one of the major geothermal power stations in the country, undertook a pilot project to develop New Zealand’s first megawatt-class green hydrogen production facility. Located in Taupō in the middle of the North Island of New Zealand, the plant uses electricity generated from geothermal energy and started gradual operations after the completion of construction in March this year. In selecting its equity partner, POAL saw positive synergies with Obayashi’s pioneering project in Taupō as well as Obayashi’s decarbonisation commitment as stated in its “Obayashi Sustainability Vision 2050” pursuing sustainability of the planet, society, and people, and of the Obayashi Group.

As the next step, POAL and Obayashi Corporation will be setting up a joint venture to undertake the hydrogen refuelling station project in Auckland with an ambition to become a leading model of sustainability in the port sector and surrounding supply chain. The joint venture will be also examining opportunities to expand hydrogen production and supply at POAL inland ports to promote supply and demand for hydrogen in New Zealand.

On 1 April this year, Obayashi Corporation launched “Green Energy Division” within the company. Moving towards a carbon neutral future, the Division is also planning to commence the operations of a hydrogen production plant using electricity through geothermal power generation in Kokonoe-machi, Oita Prefecture, Japan, in addition to the two hydrogen projects in New Zealand. In doing so, Obayashi is building up Obayashi Group’s energy supply capabilities, technologies and know-how both in Japan and overseas, in order to provide customers with optimised energy solutions to help them achieve carbon neutrality.

  • *1 A vision for Hydrogen in New Zealand
    The green paper issued by New Zealand Government in September 2019. The green paper looked at the scope of New Zealand’s hydrogen potential to frame discussions for a national strategy.
  • *2 zero-emissions entity
    Fully decarbonized entity
  • *3 Tuaropaki Trust
    Tuaropaki Trust is an Ahu Whenua Trust registered under Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993 and was the first privately owned electricity generator in New Zealand, opening the Mokai power station, near Taupō, in 2000. The organisation is a multi-national enterprise with interests in geothermal energy, milk powder production, energy services, communications, horticulture, food innovation technology, viticulture and dairy farming.

About Ports of Auckland Limited

Name Ports of Auckland Limited
Business Administer Auckland’s commercial freight and cruise ship harbour facilities
Establishment September 1988
Shared capital 146 million (as of June 2020)
Number of employee around 500
Note owned by Auckland Council and is the largest import port in New Zealand


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