Oil & Gas

Japan’s Mitsui on the hunt for carbon storage in Asia Pacific

Japanese trading house Mitsui is seeking carbon storage sites across Asia Pacific as it aims to sequester 15 million tonnes per year by 2035 for companies in Japan.

To date, Japan has shown limited potential for carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects, which has prompted Mitsui, and other Japanese firms, such as Inpex, to hunt for suitable sites across Asia Pacific. Mitsui is looking to offer comprehensive transportation and storage services for carbon dioxide (CO2) produced by Japanese factories and power plants, as the nation eyes a 2050 net-zero goal by cutting its greenhouse gas emissions.

“We will contribute to decarbonisation by making CCS services one of the areas that we focus on,” said Toru Matsui, executive managing officer at Mitsui, reported business publication Nikkei Asia.

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Mitsui and Indonesia’s state-owned oil and gas company Pertamina are studying how much CO2 can be stored in onshore oil and gas fields on the island of Sumatra. Mitsui has also teamed up with Malaysia’s national energy company Petronas to study storage capacity and routes for transport ships.

Mitsui is also a shareholder in UK-based carbon management business Storegga, that is developing the Acorn CCS project in the UK. As part of Storegga, Mistui is hoping to transfer knowledge and expertise from the company’s projects to Asia Pacific, including Malaysia.

Earlier this month, Petronas signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Storegga to determine the commercial, regulatory, and economic factors needed for the development of CCS hub and cluster projects in Malaysia.

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Meanwhile, in September, Mitsui and Shell (LON:SHEL) signed a joint agreement to explore the technical and commercial feasibility of CCS in Asia Pacific, including Japan. The collaboration will also explore the conditions and policies needed to develop CCS, and evaluate options for owning and chartering ships designed to carry liquid carbon dioxide (CO2).

Shell is upbeat about the opportunities for CCS in Asia Pacific, as the supermajor explores various potential storage site options across its portfolio in the region, which includes Australia, Malaysia, and Brunei.

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In Thailand, Mitsui plans a feasibility study at gas fields held by the state-backed PTT group.

After securing sequestration rights, Mitsui intends to debut a CCS service for Japanese companies and others as early as 2030, said the Nikkei.

“Mitsui aims to store enough carbon dioxide annually to surpass 10% of the roughly 120 million tonnes that Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry sees as the minimum for CCS if the country is to achieve its goal of carbon neutrality by 2050. Few CCS projects have taken off in Japan,” added the Nikkei.

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