Japanese laser fusion technology to help power SA’s green future

10 Oct 2023
A Japanese company with plans to produce a revolutionary source of green energy will establish its international presence in South Australia – fuelling the State’s position as a global hydrogen leader.
EX-Fusion is developing cutting-edge laser fusion technology – fusing hydrogen isotopes – to produce safe, sustainable, and reliable energy for power generation.
Trade and Investment Minister Nick Champion was at the Australia-Japan Business Co-Operation Committee Joint Conference for the announcement in Melbourne overnight.
Laser fusion energy is being touted as a gamechanger to achieving Australia’s target of carbon neutrality by 2050, helping to respond to load fluctuations and meet market demands, while decarbonising existing energy sources.
By commercialising fusion energy and working with industry, EX-Fusion aims to reduce carbon emissions by approximately 14.49 billion tonnes – equivalent to two per cent of the world’s total emissions by 2050.
The company, led by Dr Kazuki Matsuo, draws on more than 50 years of research at Osaka University to develop the technology, which is increasingly sought after.
The laser fusion technology made international news late last year, with scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory overcoming a major barrier in nuclear fusion when – for the first time – they were able to produce more energy from a fusion experiment than was put in.
Invest SA has been working closely with EX-Fusion who was attracted to South Australia through its first mover advantage, backed by the Malinauskas Labor Government’s $593 million Hydrogen Jobs Plan along with legislative framework and significant industry development and opportunities in the space.
The company also sees potential for bio-medical industries and collaborations with SAHMRI 2, the Australian Bragg Centre for Proton Therapy and Research.
The company will set up a wholly owned subsidiary, expected to be operational in South Australia by the end of the year.
To help prepare for the move, in December 2022 EX-Fusion signed a memorandum of understanding with laser fusion firm HB-11 Energy and the University of Adelaide to assist and expedite laser and photonic research through shared facilities.
The company made news this week with the Nikkei Asia reporting EX-Fusion’s agreement with Electro Optic Systems – endorsed by Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Yasutoshi Nishimura – to pilot technology to track space junk described as: “a jumping-off point (for the Japanese Government) to expand cooperation with Australia.