ITOCHU Corporation, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd., INPEX Corporation, and Taisei Corporation on Thursday (26 January) said they have signed a memorandum of understanding for a joint feasibility study on a large-scale and wide-area carbon capture and storage (CCS) value chain project using ship transportation for companies that emit carbon dioxide (CO2) in Japan.
The four companies will jointly carry out a study for launching a joint project relating to the separation, capture, ship transportation and storage of CO2 emitted from the materials industry and other industries in which it is considered difficult to achieve decarbonisation merely by electrification, introduction of hydrogen and other means (hard-to-abate industries) and conduct a process of selecting prospective sites for CO2 storage in Japan.
Amid mounting global momentum towards decarbonisation, the Japanese Cabinet adopted the Sixth Strategic Energy Plan in October 2021, which defined CCS as a means that should be utilised to the maximum extent possible in decarbonising hard-to-abate industries with a view towards two governmental targets of carbon neutrality in 2050 and a 46% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by fiscal year 2030 (from the fiscal year 2013 level). With a view to social implementation of CCS, Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry set a goal of launching a public offering of CCS value chain operators, including CO2 emitting companies, in 2024 and a number of advanced CCS projects by 2030.
Given the above governmental policy and targets as the background, ITOCHU has been taking tangible actions to realise the idea of CCS value chain business in Japan. For example, it joined the Geological Carbon Dioxide Storage Technology Research Association in June 2021.
This organisation aims to develop large-scale CO2 underground storage technologies for the development of sites suited for CO2 storage. ITOCHU also took part in the Research, Development and Demonstration Projects on CO2 Ship Transportation with a view to attaining wide-area ship transportation between CO2 emitters and sites appropriate for CO2 storage.
MHI has defined the Energy Transition as a growth area that it should address strategically and positioned the building of a CO2 solutions ecosystem as one of the key initiatives in its 2021 Medium-Term Business Plan. MHI has also positioned carbon dioxide capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) as an effective means of creating a carbon-neutral society and has delivered CO2 capture plants incorporating its own high-performance technology, including one of the world’s largest, to a total of 14 locations around the world. Meanwhile, it is also developing technologies for large-scale liquefied CO2 carriers to help develop the wide-area CCS value chain project.
INPEX is working actively to change the energy structure for the purpose of creating a net zero carbon society by 2050 while meeting energy demand in Japan and elsewhere around the world. Announced in February 2022, the Long-term Strategy and Medium-term Business Plan (INPEX [email protected]) defined CCUS as one of the five areas where it would work intensively towards a net zero carbon society. It set a target of achieving an annual CO2 injection volume of 2.5 million tons or more by around 2030 and is conducting technology development and commercialisation with the aim of becoming a leading company in the domain of CCUS.
As a front runner in the environmental domain, TAISEI defines the acceleration of its actions towards reaching carbon neutrality by 2050 as a priority issue in its Medium-Term Business Plan and is making positive efforts for CCS. With the use of the CO2 underground storage simulation technology that it has developed through major demonstration tests in Japan and overseas, it serves as a founding member of the Geological Carbon Dioxide Storage Technology Research Association. It also takes part in the Ministry of the Environment’s “Development Project of Integrated Demonstration Facility and Supply Chain for Sustainable CCUS”.
In the future, the four companies will work together to realise a sustainable society while meeting mounting needs from hard-to-abate industries for CO2 separation, capture, transportation and storage through the joint activity.
Photo credit: shraga kopstein on Unsplash
Published: 30 January, 2022
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