Sempra joins Japanese consortium to develop e-methane production and LNG supply chain

Houston-based Sempra Infrastructure has signed an agreement with a Japanese consortium to participate in the evaluation of a proposed project to produce e-natural gas, a form of carbon recycling, in the U.S. Gulf Coast and an LNG supply chain.

Cameron LNG facility. Courtesy of Sempra

The consortium is comprised of Tokyo Gas Company, Ltd., Osaka Gas Company, Ltd., Toho Gas Company., Ltd. and Mitsubishi Corporation. The companies have been conducting preliminary feasibility work on the project since 2022. With the addition of Sempra Infrastructure, the consortium now seeks to advance the energy transition through the global market of liquified e-natural gas.

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If the project is successful, it could be the first link of an international supply chain of liquified e-natural gas, a synthetic gas produced from renewable hydrogen and carbon dioxide, the partners said.

The proposed project is expected to produce 130,000 tonnes of e-natural gas per year that would be liquified via Mitsubishi Corporation’s tolling capacity at the Cameron LNG terminal in Southwest Louisiana and exported to Japan, where the product is commonly referred to as e-methane.

The proposed project is anticipated to include the production or procurement of green hydrogen, as well as the construction of facilities to produce the e-natural gas.

The U.S. Department of Energy and Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry are currently implementing a memorandum of cooperation in the field of carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS), conversion and recycling, and carbon dioxide removal. This project would meet many of the objectives in the memorandum, and could complement it, should the policy frameworks recognize e-natural gas as a carbon-neutral fuel, Sempra noted.

“Sempra Infrastructure is excited to bring its essential infrastructure development experience to this collaboration with Tokyo Gas, Osaka Gas, Toho Gas and Mitsubishi Corporation. The project would allow existing natural gas infrastructure, including the global liquefied natural gas supply chain and the gas distribution systems in nations across the world, to be used as the backbone for the delivery of a long-term, carbon-neutral fuel,” said Justin Bird, CEO of Sempra Infrastructure.