Press Information

MHI and Chiyoda Corporation Complete Development of World's First H2/CO2-FPSO: Floating Facility for Producing and Offloading Hydrogen and CO2 Made from Associated Petroleum Gas
-- Approval in Principle Received from ClassNK --

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.
Chiyoda Corporation

Tokyo, October 24, 2014 - Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) and Chiyoda Corporation, with support from ClassNK (Nippon Kaiji Kyokai), have completed joint development of a floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) facility for the production and offloading of hydrogen (H2) and carbon dioxide (CO2) made from associated petroleum gas (APG). The unit has received Approval in Principle (AIP) from ClassNK. When realized, the facility will be the world’s first FPSO capable of producing hydrogen energy, raising expectations of significant contributions to the development of marine resources and expanded use of clean energies.

The H2/CO2 FPSO is an all-new facility developed to carry out steam reforming of APG generated by offshore plants above subsea oil fields, convert it to CO2 and hydrogen, and extract the resulting CO2 and hydrogen. The CO2 is to be used in CO2-EOR (enhanced oil recovery), a method for promoting recovery of naturally depleted oil fields. The simultaneously generated hydrogen is put through toluene hydrogenation reaction applying the organic chemical hydride (OCH) method*, becoming fixated as methylcyclohexane (MCH) which can be stored in liquid form at ambient temperature and pressure.

The MCH stored in the FPSO is to be loaded onto a chemical tanker or other conventional transport vessel for transport to its assigned discharging port. At port, hydrogen is extracted from the MCH by a dehydrogenation method developed by Chiyoda, enabling its supply to existing infrastructures. This system offers the advantage of permitting the configuration of a hydrogen supply chain without requiring large capital investments for vessels dedicated to hydrogen transport, etc. It also enables the transport of hydrogen in a form (MCH) that is safe and easy to handle.

An FPSO is a floating structure equipped with facilities for producing, storing and offloading oil and gas. Until now, oil FPSOs have been welcomed for their ability to be relocated and converted to other uses at a different oil field when the field at the original location becomes depleted, and MHI and other manufacturers have compiled a solid track record in their construction and delivery. There have been no FPSOs, however, incorporating the new H2/CO2 concept. Development of the new H2/CO2 FPSO was undertaken jointly, with Chiyoda in charge of the topside plant and MHI responsible for the floating structure. Following safety evaluation, the innovative new FPSO was granted AIP from ClassNK, setting the stage for the new unit to play a significant role in expanding the use of hydrogen.

* Note: Organic chemical hydride (OCH) is a method whereby aromatic hydrocarbons such as toluene are, by hydrogenation reaction, fixated to hydrogen in the form of an alicyclic hydrocarbon such as methylcyclohexane (MCH), which can be stored and transported in liquid form under ambient temperature and pressure. OCH also enables extraction (and thus use) of hydrogen by dehydrogenation and recovery (and repeated use) of the generated toluene. Compared to other hydrogen storage and transport mediums, OCH offers outstanding storage density and stability, permits use of existing infrastructures, and enables safe storage and transport. Chiyoda Corporation has successfully performed demonstration testing of the system, and it is now in the commercialization phase.