Japanese hydrogen liquefaction expert comes to Hastings

Mr Hiroi at the HESC Project site in Hastings in September 2020
Mr Hiroi at the HESC Project site in Hastings in September 2020

Shinichi Hiroi has only recently arrived in Australia but is looking forward to applying his technical expertise to the Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC) Project and is already enjoying life in Australia.

Mr Hiroi is Deputy Section Manager for the Technical and Engineering team with Iwatani Corporation, one of the project partners responsible for the Hydrogen Liquefaction and Loading Terminal in Hastings.

He has undertaken training at one of the three commercial liquefied hydrogen plants that Iwatani operates in Japan – bringing superlative expertise and experience to support the safety of operations in Hastings.

This deep understanding of the plant operations and equipment will be imparted to local HESC Project staff already working in Hastings.

The commencement of the HESC Pilot is significant for Mr Hiroi as he joined Iwatani Corporation to build a career centred around the fuel of the future, hydrogen. Iwatani has regarded hydrogen as the ultimate clean source of energy since 1941 and is a global leader in pursuing a hydrogen enabled future. 

“HESC is a world first project and once the pilot project is successful, I hope people will understand the possibilities of hydrogen. The success will trigger expansion for hydrogen projects worldwide and they will see how liquid hydrogen can be transported by ship all over the world,” Mr Hiroi said.

“Hydrogen is a large piece of a sustainable society, as it has the potential to be used as a sustainable energy,” he says.

Mr Hiroi is the only Iwatani staff member living in Victoria but is enjoying his time and can’t help but feel a twist of fate brought him here.

“When I was a university student 15 years ago in Japan, I had a part-time job at an Outback Steak House, which I travelled to on a bicycle designed and made by Kawasaki (another HESC Project Partner), so it is very funny to be in this situation now”.

“The country is so beautiful and big, and I can’t help loving all of it. Particularly Hastings. I saw a wild Koala in Hastings and thought to myself ‘I’m finally in Australia’.”

Mr Hiroi will live in Melbourne for the duration of the HESC pilot project, making necessary visits and safety inspections to Hastings.

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