Japanese trading house Mitsui [8031:JP] has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Malaysian state-owned oil and gas company Petronas [PTG:MK] to jointly study the feasibility of storing industrial carbon emissions off the coast of the Malay Peninsula, as reported by Nikkei Asia on June 30. The project intends to capture carbon emissions from factories and power plants in East Asia and transport them to areas with underwater oil and natural gas fields for storage. The two companies will study potential storage sites, shipping standards and routes, and other aspects of the project, to realize Petronas’ goal of establishing Malaysia as a regional hub of carbon capture and storage (CCS) in the Asia-Pacific region.
The signing of the MoU is a step forward in Mitsui’s plan to kick CCS operations in Southeast Asia into full gear around 2030. In April, the Japanese company inked a joint study agreement with Indonesia’s state energy firm PT Pertamina for the commercialization of carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) projects, followed by a feasibility study for Thailand’s first CCS project with Thai state-owned energy firm PTT [PTT:TB] in June. Japan seeks to offset its environmental impacts through CCUS projects overseas, especially in Asia, as the country expects to rely on oil and natural gas imports to maintain energy security during its shift to net-zero emissions. Japan’s Agency for Natural Resources and Energy estimates that the country will need to store 120m to 240m tons of carbon emissions annually by 2050 to realize carbon neutrality.