PHL partners with Japanese company for hydrogen energy R&D

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The Department of Energy (DOE) on Wednesday (April 7) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Tokyo-based Hydrogen Technology Inc. (HTI) to explore the use of hydrogen as a fuel for power generation.

Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi said the MOU will enable the Philippines to fast track its research and development (R&D) activities for hydrogen.

“The DOE, with the creation of the Hydrogen and Fusion Energy Committee (HFEC), commits to exploring hydrogen as a viable alternative and cleaner source of energy and its other beneficial applications for the Filipino people,” Secretary Cusi said in his remarks during the virtual signing of the MOU.

“With the assistance of HTI and through the signing of the MOU, we are hopeful that the development of hydrogen energy will eventually be realized,” he added.

This is the second MOU that the DOE signed to further study the research and development of hydrogen energy in line with Secretary Cusi’s vision to include hydrogen in the country’s future energy mix. In January this year, the DOE signed a similar undertaking with Star Scientific Ltd., an Australian research and development company.

Secretary Cusi expressed hope that HTI will be able to bring into the country its technology sooner so that the R&D activities can already commence. 

“I had been wanting to bring the model here in the Philippines so that we can do the trial usage of the technology in one of the islands. I hope that with the signing of this MOU, the model can be immediately shipped,” Secretary Cusi told HTI executives led by its President and CEO, Mr. Yasuhiro Yamamoto, who signed the MOU on behalf of his company.

He further assured HTI that the DOE will help facilitate the entry of its technicians if needed, given the restricted movements because of the current COVID-19 pandemic.

“We thank everyone for being present here today in this pivotal moment in the hydrogen energy framework of the country, and we are honored to be in collaboration with HTI for this endeavor,” Secretary Cusi concluded his remarks.

Under the MOU, the DOE and HTI plan to “investigate hydrogen production in the Philippines to make the country energy independent and significantly reduce the country’s CO2 emissions.”

Senior Undersecretaries Jesus Cristino P. Pasadas, Undersecretary Felix William B. Fuentebella, Assistant Secretary Gerardo D. Erguiza, and DOE-Energy Utilization and Management Bureau (EUMB) Director Patrick T. Aquino witnessed the signing ceremony. Also present were HTI officials and the representatives of the Embassy of Japan led by Second Secretary and Commercial Attache Daijo Tsuchikawa.