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Business envoy July 2021

Reaching for the stars: Australian firm introducing green hydrogen technology to the Philippines

Electricity costs in the Philippines are among the highest in the region. There are significant energy opportunities for Australian expertise, innovations, and capital to meet this unmet need, particularly for renewable energy.

Star Scientific Limited, an Australian hydrogen research and development firm, in January 2021 signed an agreement with the Philippine Department of Energy (DOE) to help drive the country’s energy self-sufficiency and economic development through green hydrogen as a fuel source.

Under the agreement the parties will begin a feasibility study retro-fitting existing coal-fired power plants to run on green hydrogen using Star Scientific’s proprietary Hydrogen Energy Release Technology (HERO) technology. They will also work together to explore the use of green hydrogen production in the Philippines using an abundance of offshore wind resources. Other opportunities for cooperation include the development of decentralised scalable power and desalination capabilities.

The Philippines Renewable Energy plan is aimed at renewable energy (RE) contributing 35 per cent of the country’s energy needs by 2030 (58.5 per cent by 2040). With a moratorium on green field coal power projects by October 2021, RE will play an important role in meeting this gap.

Star Scientific Limited signing of Memorandum of Understanding with the Philippine Department of Energy to explore hydrogen technology through the Hydrogen Energy Release Optimizer (HERO) technology in the Philippines. The MoU signing was witnessed by the Australian Ambassador, Philippine Energy officials and prospective investors to Star Scientific. Manila, 27 January 2021

The group pose formally, wearing facemasks.
Seated from left: Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Steven Robinson AO; Philippine Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi; Star Scientific Chief Advisor Robbie Briggs. Image courtesy of Star Scientific

Recently, our Embassy in Manila supported the entry and launch of Woolworths’ brand of products to the Philippines which are available in physical stores and in e-commerce platform. Major retail shop Robinsons Supermarket held a virtual launch on 5 May 2021 attended by the Australian Ambassador, Austrade’s Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner, senior executives from Woolworths and Robinsons Retail Holdings.

Video conference with Jazz Casumbal, Jacob Baldock, Andrew Goudie, Brian Newton, Steven James Robinson AO, Stanley Co, Jody Gadia, Christopher Lim
Top row, from left: Jazz Casumbal, Host of the Virtual Launch: Jacob Baldock, Marketing Head, Woolworths International; Andrew Goudie, General Manager, Woolworths; Brian Newton, Sales Head, Woolworths International Middle Row: Steven James Robinson AO, Australian Ambassador to the Philippines; Stanley Co, Deputy Managing Director, Robinsons Supermarket; Jody Gadia, Managing Director, Robinsons Supermarket Bottom Row: Christopher Lim, Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner/ Minister Counsellor (Commercial), Austrade Manila; Robina Gokongwei- Pe, President of Robinsons Retail Holdings Inc. Image credit: DFAT
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