HIF links up with Japanese companies for CO2 supply chain and eFuels projects

Houston-headquartered eFuels producer HIF Global and Japanese companies ITOCHU, JFE Steel, and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) have signed an agreement to jointly identify and assess potential locations to establish carbon-neutral eFuels facilities in Australia as well as a CO2 supply chain between Australia and Japan.

Conceptual diagram of e-fuel production and supply chain. Courtesy of MOL

Under the agreement, HIF will identify sites in North Queensland to host commercial-scale, cost-efficient eFuels facilities and evaluate importing CO2 for use as an eFuels feedstock.

ITOCHU will be responsible for lifecycle assessment and economic assessment while JFE will study the capture and storage of CO2 in Japan.

For its part, MOL will analyze shipping both CO2 from Japan to Australia and eFuels from Australia.

Ignacio Hernandez, HIF Asia Pacific’s CEO, said: “The cooperation agreement between HIF, Itochu, JFE Steel, and MOL demonstrates the strong demand for eFuels to decarbonize transport around the world now. Our collaboration is a critical enabling step toward commercialization of the natural synergies between Australia and Japan as we work together to tackle climate change.

“HIF produces eFuels today in Chile and has a large-scale facility in Texas due to enter construction this year. Our Tasmanian eFuels project was one of only six to be shortlisted for the Australian Government’s Hydrogen Headstart funding program two months ago, and now we initiate the site selection process in Queensland.”

Jun Inomata, Executive Officer, ITOCHU (Chief Operating Officer, Metal & Mineral Resources Division), added: “One of the basic policies of ITOCHU’s medium-term management plan is to contribute to and strengthen initiatives for the SDGs, and through this initiative, ITOCHU will contribute to the realization of a decarbonized society by building an eFuel supply chain.

“All four organizations in this collaboration will leverage their networks in Japan and overseas and the knowledge they have accumulated through their business in Australia to build an eFuel supply chain, starting with JFE Steel, with an eye towards a decarbonized society.”

Last year, HIF Global entered into a strategic cooperation agreement with Japanese energy company Idemitsu Kosan to accelerate the production of carbon-neutral eFuels. The cooperation will focus on the purchase of eFuels by Idemitsu from HIF eFuels facilities worldwide, co-investments in HIF eFuels facilities and new facilities in Japan, and supply of recycled CO2 from Japan for use in the eFuels production process.

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