A world-first hydrogen tanker has arrived in Victoria.

The Suiso Frontier carrier has docked at the Port of Hastings, near Melbourne, ready to transport hydrogen produced as part of the Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC) project to Japan.

The HESC pilot project is looking at the viability of creating hydrogen using coal mined at the Loy Yang brown coal mine in the Latrobe Valley and transporting it to Japan for consumption.

The project is backed by Japanese and Australian companies including Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Japanese energy giant J-Power and AGL, which owns Loy Yang.

At Loy Yang, hydrogen is created in gas form before being liquefied prior to export.

The Suiso Frontier can hold up to 8,000 tonnes, and will soon set off on a two-week voyage to transport the liquefied hydrogen to Kobe in Japan.

It features a 1,250-cubic-metre storage tank that can ship liquefied hydrogen at 0.125 per cent of the volume it would be in its gas state. 

Hydrogen is a clean-burning fuel that many are looking to as a major tool in decarbonising economies. 

Hydrogen fuel is classified on a colour-coded system depending on how it is produced. Green hydrogen is produced from renewable energy, while brown hydrogen is produced from brown coal. 

Environmental groups say brown hydrogen continues the legacy of carbon emissions by using coal in its production.

The companies behind the plan say they will not commercialise the project if they cannot capture and store the emissions from production.