Keppel, partners to explore development of liquefied hydrogen supply infrastructure for data centres

The tie-up comes amid growing global interest in the use of hydrogen as a clean energy source.
The tie-up comes amid growing global interest in the use of hydrogen as a clean energy source.PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Keppel Corp, through its data centre unit Keppel Data Centres Holding, has tied up with four other industry partners to jointly explore the development of a supply infrastructure to bring liquefied hydrogen (LH2) into Singapore to power Keppel's data centres.

These partners are technology corporate group Kawasaki Heavy Industries; industrial gases and engineering company Linde Gas Singapore; multi-modal transport group Mitsui O.S.K. Lines; and Vopak LNG Holding, a liquefied natural gas (LNG) regasification terminal operator.

The five parties have entered into a memorandum of understanding to jointly study the technical and commercial viability of an LH2 supply chain. This includes studying the feasibility of having a production and liquefaction plant and export terminal at the exporting country, transporting LH2 via ocean-going tankers, and having storage units, regasification facilities and an import terminal in Singapore.

The study is expected to continue until the end of 2021, after which all parties will decide on their next phase of collaboration. They envision the LH2 supply infrastructure benefiting data centre facilities, such as the floating data centre park project Keppel Data Centres is pursuing in Singapore.

The tie-up comes amid growing global interest in the use of hydrogen as a clean energy source as its combustion does not emit carbon dioxide. In its liquid state, hydrogen occupies 800 times less volume compared with its gaseous state, allowing for more compact and efficient storage and transport.

Keppel Data Centres chief executive Wong Wai Meng said the company is working hard to decarbonise its operations.

"We are actively tapping the capabilities of the Keppel group as well as working with industry partners to explore a range of green solutions such as hydrogen, floating data centres and CCUS (carbon capture, utilisation and sequestration) technologies," he added.

Keppel Data Centres is a 70-30 joint venture between Keppel Telecommunications & Transportation and Keppel Land, both subsidiaries of Keppel Corp.

Keppel Corp shares were trading 0.2 per cent or one cent lower at $5.30 as at 10.06am on Wednesday (May 12).