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100-plus Asian companies share tech in carbon storage push

  • June 22, 2021
  • , Nikkei Asia , 10:43 a.m.
  • English Press

JUNTARO ARAI, Nikkei staff writer


TOKYO — More than 100 businesses in Asia will work together to develop carbon storage technology under a public-private initiative launched by Japan, hoping to bring down the prohibitive costs that currently stand in the way of commercialization.


Japan’s economy and trade ministry will form the Asian CCUS Network on Tuesday to share technological know-how in carbon capture, utilization and storage technology, with the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations members, Australia and the U.S. taking part.


Japanese members will include oil and gas giant Inpex, trading houses Mitsubishi Corp. and Sumitomo Corp., Tokyo Gas, engineering company JGC, shipbuilder Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Nippon Steel, and MUFG Bank. Indonesia’s state-run oil and natural gas company PT Pertamina will also take part. Research institutes will also offer their expertise. 


Participating businesses will pursue projects for pumping carbon dioxide into the ground near where it is emitted and for liquefying CO2 so that it can be shipped to countries with plenty of room to store it. Multiple countries in Asia boast a storage capacity of at least 10 billion tons.


No CCUS projects have been commercialized in Southeast Asia, while there have been some successes in North America and elsewhere.


Japan is preparing a feasibility study to set up a pipeline from a gas field in Indonesia for underground storage about 4 km away, with sequestration starting as early as fiscal 2024. This would remove an annual 300,000 tons of CO2, a portion of which would count toward Japan’s reduction tally.


Maritime shipping holds promise for a CO2 transport network within Asia that can cover greater distances than pipelines. CO2 captured in Japan could be stored underground outside the country, for example. Construction of special carriers will begin in fiscal 2021 for operation starting in 2024.


In an International Energy Agency scenario, to achieve a net-zero world by 2070, Southeast Asia needs to capture 35 million tons of CO2 in 2030 and raise the annual figure to 200 million tons or more by 2050. Sequestration facilities will require an average of $1 billion a year by 2030 to reach these targets — an investment too large for the private sector alone.

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