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Australian hydrogen specialist finds UK port of call

by Mark Cantrell
Freeport East in East Anglia has signed a collaboration agreement with Australian-based, green hydrogen storage firm, Rux Energy.

Freeport East in East Anglia has signed a collaboration agreement with Australian-based, green hydrogen storage firm, Rux Energy.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by Freeport East’s chief executive, Steve Beel, and Dr Jehan Kanga, founder and chief executive of Rux Energy during a visit to the Innovation Labs, University of Suffolk.

The MOU underlines both parties’ commitment to achieving the safe storage, distribution and supply of low carbon hydrogen within the UK, and exporting green hydrogen across the world.

Beel said: “This latest agreement underscores our commitment to becoming the greenest freeport in the country. Rux Energy chose to establish its first European base in the East of England due to our support, and we will continue to work closely with the team in order to meet our mutual goals.

“We are proud to be a driving force; collaborating with partners, sharing knowledge and attracting outside investors. Freeport East provides a compelling reason to invest, work, and live in East Anglia.”

Kanga added: “This partnership ushers in a paradigm shift toward a hydrogen future where Rux’s storage technology and supply chain efficiencies deliver fuel costs competitive with natural gas, accelerating the switch away from fossil fuels for heavy vehicles, rail, aviation, marine vessels and industrial end-users, delivering sustainable jobs growth across both the UK and Australia, while enabling our hardest-to-abate sectors to decarbonise years earlier than previously anticipated.”

Advanced materials

Founded in Australia, Rux Energy has created what is said to be unique nanoporous advanced materials, and innovative carbon-composite tanks in order to improve the safety, and reduce the costs, of hydrogen storage and distribution.

By doing so, it is claimed to have effectively removed the blockers to hydrogen adoption globally.

Facilitated by Freeport East, Rux registered its UK subsidiary, Rux Energy UK, in Harwich – a first outside Australia – in April 2023.

Freeport East says it is striving towards becoming the UK’s hub for transport and maritime decarbonisation, and reducing emissions both on land and sea. In supporting Rux develop its innovative technology into real-world products, such as vessel and vehicle fuel tanks or energy network storage, Freeport East says it is taking “tangible steps” towards becoming the UK’s centre for green hydrogen and accelerating decarbonisation methods.

This international agreement also marks a key milestone for Rux Energy and its future expansion in UK and European markets. The MOU highlights the collaborative efforts between Australia and the UK to cut carbon emissions, and to ensure specialised knowledge is shared, building an advanced workforce of the future.

Kanga added:“Rux has spent the last year working closely on planning for industrial trials which commence this year for our novel hydrogen storage systems, which utilize our patented advanced nanoporous materials, and pre-feasibility for scale manufacturing here in the freeport.

“Rux will drive clustered growth in R&D and advanced manufacturing with the local supply chain partners we’ve met through the Freeport East, connecting Australian deep tech innovations and manufacturing supply chains with UK manufacturing clusters, aligned to the Australia-UK Clean Technology Partnership.”

Paul Webster, the New South Wales trade and investment commissioner for the UK and Europe said: “We’re delighted to support the global growth of a New South Wales-based business, Rux Energy into Freeport East.

“Through its 2021 hydrogen strategy, the government of New South Wales is investing $3bn to support the innovation, consumption, production, and export of green hydrogen. However, key to a successful hydrogen rollout is the cost- and energy-efficient ability to store and transport it, which Rux’s patented MOF technology is bringing NSW innovation to the global market.”

Main image: Jehan Kanga and Steve Beel sign the memorandum of understanding

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