Mitsubishi Corp. and Mitsui & Co. are teaming up with oil corporation BP and energy group Woodside Petroleum to explore carbon capture and storage potential off the coast of Australia.
The announcement comes as the world begins to double down on decarbonization efforts, yet Japan appears to be lagging behind.
Hence, two of the country’s major players in its energy supply are now looking to join forces with Australia which already has a head start in the realm of carbon capture.
Both Japanese companies will take part in a survey together with local energy giants through MIMI, their Australian joint venture dedicated to producing liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Intentions are for the captured CO2 emissions to be transported to and stored in depleted gas fields off the Australian coast.
The survey is set to commence as early as March 2022.
And if it is successful, the storage site will be expected to become operational by 2030.
As far as investment in the project goes, Mitsubishi Chief Financial Officer Kazuyuki Masu said the company had not yet made any concrete decisions.
The same was said for exact CO2 emission reductions.
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) has great potential of providing a new earning stream for Mitsubishi and Mitsui, both of which have businesses across an array of industries, including food, energy and mineral resources.
Furthermore, hopes are that the collaboration with Western partners will help the Japanese trading houses gain enough expertise to help cut CCS costs back home.
The International Energy Agency has called for the recovery of 7.6 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide annually by 2050 in order to achieve net-zero emissions by the same year.
Japan’s industry ministry has voiced expectations that the country should capture 240 million tons of CO2 per annum by 2050.
However, only just the excavation costs are expected to exceed $17 billion.