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Brown coal to hydrogen? Tell Japan HESC no!

The Japanese Government is supporting an international consortium to use Victoria's dirty brown coal to produce hydrogen for export. The Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC) project is a climate disaster without a business case or social licence.

The HESC project is a brown coal to hydrogen project that will release 3.8 megatonnes of carbon dioxide each year. The international Japanese consortium behind this project claim that carbon capture and storage (CCS) will address these emissions but to date this technology has not been proven at this scale anywhere in the world.

The plan is to produce hydrogen from brown coal at Loy Yang, pipe it across some of Victoria's best farmland in over a hundred kms of newly built pipeline to deliver it at the Port of Hastings for liquification before shipping it to Japan. Hydrogen is the finest gas and notoriously hard to contain - as was demonstrated when the trial shipment resulted in a hydrogen leak which caused a deck fire at Hastings in January 2022. Yes, this really happened.

And all of this climate and environmental impact - and risk! - for a project with a flimsy business case. Hydrogen can be produced using renewable energy much more cheaply and cleanly. 

We are calling on the Japanese Government to save the $2.35 billion dollars they have committed and back away from this project.

Please support the locals of the RAMSAR listed Westernport area, help protect the farmlands of Gippsland and save the climate from the over 700,000 petrol cars of emissions that this project will produce this year.

Please take action now - email the Japanese Ambassador - and relevant State and Federal Ministers - and tell them that when it comes to creating hydrogen from brown coal Victoria says HESC no!


This campaign is a collaboration between the No More Gas campaign at Friends of the Earth Melbourne and our friends at

Save Westernport, Friends of Latrobe Water

and Westernport & Peninsula Protection Council