Australia’s Woodside Energy has signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MOU) with three Japanese companies to enable studies of a potential carbon, capture and storage (CCS) value chain between Japan and Australia.

Under the MoU, Sumitomo Corporation, Toho Gas and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line) will study the capture, storage and transportation of carbon dioxide emissions by industry in the Chubu region of Japan.

Sumitomo said the study would investigate the feasibility of establishing an entire CCS value chain among the four companies, whereby CO2 emissions from various industries and companies in the Chubu region are hoped to be captured/accumulated.

The carbon dioxide would then be liquefied by using such technology as CO2 separation and capture using unutilised liquefied natural gas cryogenic energy being developed by Toho Gas and then transported to Australia by a low-temperature, low-pressure liquefied CO2 carrier for injection/storage at Australian storage site.

“Through this study, we will estimate the amount of CO2 to be captured, examine the optimal CO2 capture, accumulation and transportation methods, estimate the amount of CO2 that can be stored at storage sites in Australia, and evaluate the necessary storage technologies and monitoring systems,” Sumitomo said in a statement.

"In addition to the technical requirements, we will assess the relevant regulatory frameworks and the costs in each segment of the CCS value chain. The four companies aim to work together to assess the commercial viability of the CCS business."

The Japanese government has set a goal of reducing overall greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050 and implemented a policy to develop a business environment to initiate CCS projects by 2030 in its ‘Basic Policy for the Realization of GX’.

Woodside for its part will conduct the study of injection and storage of the CO2 at Australian storage sites.

Woodside executive vice president Shaun Gregory said the MoU reflected the demand for large-scale and near-term decarbonisation solutions.

“Woodside sees CCS as an opportunity, which will require coordination and collaboration — between jurisdictions, across government and between government and industry,” he said.

“CCS has the potential to provide a pathway for industry in the region to decarbonise.”  

Gregory added that “Japan is one such country that faces the challenge of emissions reduction and will foreseeably look to near-neighbour nations to support their efforts”.

Updated to include statement and details from Sumitomo Corporation.

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