Japan’s Mitsubishi [8058:JP] and Mitsui [8031:JP] will team up for a carbon capture and storage (CCS) project located in the seabed of Western Australia, as reported by Nikkei Asia on February 4. The selected sea area has the highest concentration of offshore gas fields in Australia, and the project is designed to store carbon dioxide (CO2) in the gaps of the seabed where natural gas used to be. Operation is expected to commence in 2030 when CO2 generated by local factories will be captured and transferred to the seabed through pipelines. At a later stage, Mitsubishi and Mitsui also plan on transporting their CO2 emissions by sea and storing them in the project. Other participants of the project include Australian energy group Woodside Petroleum [WPL:AU] and British oil supermajor BP [BP:US], two leading firms in the field of CCS.
The Australia-based Global CCS Institute reported that the world has 135 CSS projects in development as of 2021, including 27 already in operation and 71 added during the first nine months of last year. These projects have an estimated combined CSS capacity of 150m tons, which is more than doubled from five years ago. However, to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, the world needs to recover 7.6bn tons of CO2 annually by that year, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). To align with this target, Japan expects its CSS capacity to reach 240m tons per year, while the cost of excavation alone would be more than USD17bn. To reduce the expenses, Japan aims to catch up with the pioneers in the field of CSS by ramping up CCS participation. In January 2022, Japan signed a memorandum of cooperation (MOC) with Indonesia to jointly develop decarbonization technologies including hydrogen, ammonia, and CCS.