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Japan’s first fully integrated CCS project comes online in Tomakomai

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology has taken another leap forward, with Japan’s first fully integrated CCS project coming online in the Tomakomai area, in south-west Hokkaido. Carbon dioxide (CO2) from a hydrogen production unit in an oil refinery will be captured and purified, before compression and subsequent injection into offshore geological formations. The Global CCS Institute welcomed the launch of the Tomakomai CCS Project, and congratulated the Government of Japan on the successful completion of Japan’s first integrated CCS facility.

“Japan has demonstrated great leadership on the world stage, and several of the world’s 15 operational large scale CCS projects were made possible with the inclusion of Japanese technology,” said Brad Page, CEO of the Global CCS Institute. “By working closely with its leading industry partners, the Japanese Government’s collaboration is helping to ensure CCS projects around the world benefit from the expertise and experience of Japanese companies developing important technologies. “The Government of Japan, and in particular the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, is to be commended for its ongoing commitment to meeting its climate targets through a mix of low carbon technologies, including CCS,” said Page.

Page continued to say that the Tomakomai CCS Project was important to the global CCS industry for several reasons. “CCS has a vital role to play as part of the overall technology mix required to meet the internationally agreed goal of limiting the impact of global warming to well below two degrees. It is very appropriate that Japan is now home to its own fully integrated CCS project. The operation of the Tomakomai CCS Project will see at least 100 000 tpy of CO2 captured, compressed and stored, for three years. This notable demonstration project will provide Japan with important knowledge that will help drive the next phase of development for CCS in Japan. It is also the first fully integrated project using carbon capture, compression, transport, and geologic storage technology on a hydrogen production facility in the region, which is essential for demonstrating the growing range of applications for industrial CCS,” said Page.

Currently, most of the world’s hydrogen is used either as ammonia feedstock in fertiliser production, or for converting heavy petroleum sources, such as tar sands and oil shale into lighter fuels. While hydrogen itself is often touted as a ‘clean fuel’, there are no naturally occurring sources of pure hydrogen. Global hydrogen production depends heavily on fossil fuels including natural gas, oil and coal, which are processed to produce pure hydrogen. Carbon dioxide is an unavoidable by-product of the industrial production of hydrogen. CCS is the solution to avoiding these emissions.

Adapted from press release by Francesca Brindle

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