Technological innovation is indispensable to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement, which is an international framework related to climate change. With this in mind, we will carry out demonstration testing and otherwise strive to advance such promising technologies as carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS), carbon dioxide capture and utilization (CCU), and hydrogen energy, which is completely free of CO2 emissions. Taking a proactive approach, we aim to achieve much-anticipated breakthroughs in these fields and to commercialize solutions that promote the transition to a low-carbon society.
We are a participant in “Challenge Zero,” an initiative sponsored by the Keidanren (Japan Business Federation) in collaboration with the Japanese government, with the aim of contributing to the realization of a decarbonized society, the long-term goal defined by the Paris Agreement—an international framework for climate change countermeasures. To this end, participants in “Challenge Zero” are acting as strong advocates of decarbonization efforts at home and abroad, as well as encouraging other businesses and organizations to take action and tackle the challenge of achieving innovation.
We have been cooperating in a CCS demonstration project run by Japan CCS Co., Ltd. The project is being executed in Tomakomai, Hokkaido Prefecture and is commissioned by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO). In this case, CCS refers to a technology that absorbs CO2 from gaseous power plant emissions before it can be released into the atmosphere, pumping it deep underground to sequester it. Since April 2016, our role in the project has been to supply the gas containing CO2 from the Hokkaido Refinery for use in the demonstration project. As of November 22, 2019, the project achieved a cumulative total of 300,000 tons of CO2 sequestration, meeting the initial target. Having ceased sequestration, the project is currently in the monitoring phase to confirm whether there are any leaks or other abnormalities.
We participated in the Working Group on the Roadmap for Carbon Recycling Technologies established by the METI. The Working Group was established to promote an effective and rapid development of carbon recycling technologies. The roadmap was compiled in June 2019.
We have been cooperating in the world’s first international hydrogen supply chain demonstration project promoted by the Advanced Hydrogen Energy Chain Association for Technology Development (AHEAD) supported by NEDO. This project will contribute to the utilization of hydrogen, which does not emit CO2 during combustion, in large-scale power generation. In this project, hydrogen is separated from liquid (methylcyclohexane), which is transported from Brunei Darussalam, by a demonstration plant newly constructed by AHEAD on the premises of Keihin Refinery of TOA Oil Co., Ltd., an Idemitsu Group company. The plant was brought on line at the Keihin Refinery in April 2020 and is supplying hydrogen for use by TOA Oil’s thermal power generators as fuel and other applications. In addition to cooperating in plant construction, we are assisting this project from the aspect of demonstration testing. Specifically, we dispatch human resources and carry out other project-related tasks while assuming the role of a hydrogen consumer.
In tandem with nine other private-sector companies that are taking on the challenge of promoting hydrogen utilization, we launched a study group aimed at discussing the possibility of hydrogen utilization on an industrial scale. The study group is looking to build a hydrogen supply chain in the Chubu area to help stimulate demand growth and ensure stable utilization, to this end engaging in a feasibility study aimed at assessing such factors as the potential of hydrogen energy as well as the costs arising from its introduction.