Japan is making a step towards realizing its objective of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Japanese oil refiner Eneos Holdings and utility J-Power announced they are joining forces to launch Japan’s first permanent carbon capture and storage project by the end of this decade.
The two companies plan to launch a pilot project in the latter half of this decade in which they will extract hydrogen from biomass and store emissions underground.
J-Power will also capture CO2 from coal-fired power plants and Eneos aims to realize its goal of cutting the amount of carbon produced by its refining business.
In addition, the carbon capture and storage project is planned to sequester carbon dioxide produced by other companies. The next step is an execution of a feasibility study, with plans to begin exploring a site in western Japan later this year.
The work on designing the carbon capture facility is scheduled to begin next year and the final investment decision is expected around 2026.
Currently, J-Power is developing technology for exploring underground strata suitable for storage. Eneos also plans to utilize its know-how in storing carbon dioxide underground and it set up a goal of cutting 3 million tons of emissions group-wide in fiscal 2030, equivalent to 10% of emissions in fiscal 2013.
Japan is slightly behind in developing a business environment for carbon capture compared to other nations like the US and Canada. The technology is still at its experimental stage in the country but the industry ministry plans to complete a midterm report on carbon capture strategy as soon as Wednesday.
The report should include the goal of storing between 120 – 240 million tons a year by 2050 – the year by which Japan wants to achieve net-zero emissions. The government is also expected to work out legislative and fiscal support for the industry as at this stage, the costs are considered unbearable for industry players.
The announced carbon capture project is the first for Japan and marks the beginning of further initiatives to come. Deploying the technology internationally would help drive its costs down but innovations in the field of efficiency are also critical to make it attractive for investors and the decarbonization industry.