Seven companies team up on carbon capture and storage project in Japan

ITOCHU Corporation, Nippon Steel Corporation, Taiheiyo Cement Corporation, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), ITOCHU Oil Exploration Co., INPEX Corporation, and Taisei Corporation have joined forces to conduct a feasibility study on Japanese Advanced CCS Project.

Itochu Corporation

As explained, the project is a part of the Tohoku Region West Coast CCS initiative which has been selected by the Japan Organization for Metals and Energy Security.

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Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry set a goal of launching a public offering of CCS value chain operators, including carbon dioxide emitting companies, and a number of advanced CCS projects by 2030 for the social implementation of CCS.

CCS projects are positioned as a means for decarbonization that should be fully harnessed, particularly in hard-to-abate industries, to achieve two targets of the Japanese government: carbon neutrality in 2050 and a 46% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (from FY2013 level) in FY2030.

Given the above governmental policy and targets as the background, four companies, ITOCHU, MHI, INPEX and Taisei, announced in January this year that they will carry out a study for launching a joint project relating to the separation, capture, ship transportation and storage of CO2 emitted particularly from hard-to-abate industries in Japan.

Furthermore, they will conduct a process of selecting prospective sites for CO2 storage in Japan. Subsequently, Nippon Steel and Taiheiyo Cement are participating in the initiative as CO2 emitting companies.

As part of the study, the seven companies will identify technical issues in the entire CCS value chain as well as commercial and social acceptability issues, based on the overall concept of using ships to transport CO2 separated and captured at specific plants of Nippon Steel and Taiheiyo Cement, to sites appropriate for CO2 storage. The partners want to create a concrete CCS value chain project by FY2030.

Under the project, Nippon Steel and Taihejyo Cement are in charge of studying the separation capture and liquefaction of CO2 and shipping terminal. Besides this, MHI will explore the ship transportation of CO2 and onshore liquefied CO2 receiving and storage facilities.

On the other hand, Inpex and Taisei will work on CO2 injection and underground storage. Inpex will also conduct a study about CO2 monitoring and planning and overall evaluation of technologies at receiving and storage facilities.

Meanwhile, ITOCHU is dedicated to the overall coordination and economic arrangements, as well as management with the CO2-emitting companies.

CIECO, an operating subsidiary company in the oil and natural gas development business of the ITOCHU Group and is actively involved in CCS and other decarbonization projects, has also joined the seven companies in conducting the study. It will carry out the economic evaluation of the entire value chain and CO2 injection and underground storage.