MORE Japanese energy companies are investigating the feasibility of transporting carbon to Australia for underground storage as they seek to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

The latest agreement has been signed between JERA Co. Inc. and INPEX to carry out a preliminary joint study concerning the feasibility of separating and capturing CO2 emitted by JERA in Japan and transporting it to Australia for storage.

“In working to achieve carbon neutrality, carbon capture and storage (CCS) techniques that store CO2 underground are indispensable for industries in which it is difficult to reduce CO2 emissions,” the partners said. “With many governments providing active support, CCS projects are being planned in the Asia-Pacific region and around the world.

“Australia is bolstering its efforts to reduce CO2 emissions and moving forward to foster a business environment that encourages CCS projects that take advantage of its abundance of sites suitable for underground CO2 storage and facilitates the receipt of CO2 from outside the country.”

Under the agreement, JERA and INPEX will jointly examine project feasibility across the entire value chain, from the separation and capture of CO2 emitted by JERA in Japan to its transportation between the two countries—including transport methods and shipping/receiving conditions—and its underground storage in Australia.

INPEX notes it has expertise in technologies and business development concerning CCS, which is considered as an effective means of reducing CO2 emissions from multiple projects in Australia including the Ichthys LNG Project which is operated by INPEX.

JERA believes that this joint study with INPEX will contribute to building a global CCS value chain for the cross-border transportation and storage of CO2 and, through the use of CCS, to advancing the transition to a decarbonized society.

“Under JERA Zero CO2 Emissions 2050, JERA has been working to achieve net-zero CO2 emissions from its domestic and overseas businesses by 2050. To promote CCS projects, we are accelerating our evaluation of CO2 capture and storage technologies and related economic considerations,” the company said.

In mid-March JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration Corporation and Chevron New Energies (a division of Chevron USA) signed a MOU to evaluate the export of CO2 from Japan to CCS projects located in Australia and other countries in the Asia Pacific region.

Similar to the above, the main objective of the MOU is to evaluate the feasibility of the CCS value chain, including capture of CO2 emitted from industries located in Japan, including JX’s affiliates, and transportation by ship from Japan to Chevron’s greenhouse gas storage portfolio in Australia. The collaboration will also explore the opportunity to develop suitable transboundary policies and the potential development of CO2 storage sites in other countries in the Asia Pacific region, the partners said.