The EU-Japan Centre is pleased to start a new weekly service by publishing brief summary of the latest information from the Japanese governmental organizations & private companies/organizations. A couple of minutes reading to be informed about what is happening in Japan's policy, economy, EU-Japan relations, and innovation.
*Information is deemed correct at the time of release.
MHI provides CO2 capture technology to offshore oil and gas production, storage and offloading facilities
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) announced on September 15 that it has signed a collaboration agreement with SBM Offshore of the Netherlands to commercialize CO2 capture modules for floating oil and gas production, storage, and offloading facilities (FPSO).
SBM Offshore, a major player in the FPSO industry, will adopt MHI's proprietary CO2 recovery technology, ``Advanced KM CDR ProcessTM,'' in its CO2 recovery module for FPSOs. By installing a CO2 capture module on an FPSO and capturing the CO2 emitted from the power generation gas turbine of the same facility, it will be possible to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. CO2 emissions from FPSOs are expected to be reduced by up to 70% compared to conventional methods.
FPSO is a ship-shaped floating facility that produces oil and gas on the ocean where there are offshore oil and gas fields, stores it in tankers, and ships it to transport tankers. Demand for decarbonization in the FPSO market is expected to expand rapidly. Through this collaboration, the two companies will accelerate the development of marine CCS (CO2 capture and storage) business and contribute to the realization of global carbon neutrality.
Honda recycles nylon resin with Toray
Honda announced on September 19 that it has begun a demonstration experiment to recycle nylon resin used in automobile engine intake pipes. Using technology jointly developed with Toray, nylon resin can be used again as a component with the same quality. The aim is to put it into practical use in 2027. Equipment capable of processing 500 tons of used nylon resin per year will be installed at Toray's Nagoya plant and will go into operation in fiscal 2025. The period of the demonstration experiment is until March 2026.
Nylon resin recovered from automobile waste is difficult to separate and collect, and requires advanced recycling technology, and until now, the only way to do this was to utilize the thermal energy generated during incineration. The two companies developed a recycling technology that uses high-temperature, high-pressure water called "subcritical water" as a catalyst, and succeeded in returning the recovered nylon resin to its molecular state. In addition to having a lighter environmental impact than conventional technology that uses acid catalysts, it can reduce the time it takes to turn nylon resin into molecules by one-fifth. Another feature is that it can be recycled to the same performance and quality as components that do not use recycled materials.
IHI considers investment in green ammonia production and sales business in Australia
On September 15, IHI announced that it will be working with four Japanese and Australian joint development partners on the North Queensland Clean Energy (HyNQ) project, which aims to produce and sell 500,000 tons of green ammonia annually using renewable energy, at Abbot Point Port in Queensland, Australia.
The project aims to produce, store and export green ammonia. The plan is to advance to the initial basic design (FEED) stage by February 2024, and make a final investment decision by 2025.
The project is being developed by a joint venture development team comprised of Australian renewable energy developer Energy Estate, Queensland power company CS Energy, and Idemitsu Renewable Development Australia. IHI is working to establish an economically rational ammonia production system, to build infrastructure facilities in a timely manner as distribution expands, and to develop utilization technologies that will generate large amounts of demand.
Since 2021, IHI has been working with Marubeni and Woodside Energy, a major Australian energy company, to consider and investigate the feasibility of producing and exporting green ammonia in Australia and Tasmania. Additionally, in July, IHI received an order from Woodside Energy Technologies to study and investigate the feasibility of producing and exporting green ammonia using hydropower resources in the Southland region of New Zealand.
220,000 people climb Mt. Fuji this year, up to pre-coronavirus levels, 38% increase from last year
Climbing Mt. Fuji is popular among foreign tourists. the Ministry of the Environment announced on September 19 that the number of climbers who passed the 8th station during this year's opening period (July 1 to September 10) was 221,322 people, an increase of 38% compared to the previous year. This is almost the same level as 94% in 2019 (approximately 236,000 people) before the spread of the COVID-19.
It was expected that there would be a significant increase in the number of climbers in the first climbing season after the COVID-19 moved to Category 5. Mountain huts are limiting the number of guests allowed to stay as a precaution against the spread of infection. The Ministry of the Environment warns, “ There are concerns about an increase in ``bullet mountain climbing'' where climbers climb overnight, but this is extremely dangerous and should be stopped.''
The number of climbers in early July increased by 64% compared to 2019. On the other hand, the number fell by 33% in early August. It is guessed that they avoided the crowded season. The survey was conducted by installing infrared counters near the 8th station of four mountain climbing routes, and the breakdown for each route was as follows; 137,236 people on the Yoshida route on the Yamanashi Prefecture side, 49,545 people on the Fujinomiya route on the Shizuoka Prefecture side, 19,062 people on the Subashiri route and 15,479 people on the Gotenba route. The Yoshida route was popular as it is relatively easy to climb even for beginners.
MOE website (in Japanese):
METI doubles development support for hydrogen reduction steelmaking to over JP¥ 400 billion
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) will double the amount of development support to over JP¥ 400 billion for ``hydrogen reduction steelmaking,'' which can reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the steelmaking process by more than 50%. The commercialization date will also be brought forward by about five years from the originally planned mid-2040s. Supporting the decarbonization of the steel industry, which emits the largest amount of CO2 among domestic industries. The METI presented the proposal at the Industrial Structure Council held on September 15. The target is a hydrogen steelmaking consortium made up of major steel companies including Nippon Steel, JFE Steel and Kobe Steel.
The expenditure will be made from the JP¥ 2 trillion Green Innovation (GI) Fund, which was established to promote the development of decarbonization technology. The fund has already decided to contribute JP¥ 193.5 billion, but the amount will be further increased to accelerate the implementation of the project. The steel industry has a high burden on the environment, accounting for approximately half of the CO2 emissions of domestic industries. Hydrogen reduction ironmaking involves methods such as using hydrogen instead of coke (coal) to extract iron from iron ore. Early establishment of technology will lead to decarbonization.
METI website (in Japanese):
MHI begins operation of "Takasago Hydrogen Park" that can demonstrate integrated operations from hydrogen production to power generation use
On September 20, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) announced that it began full-scale operation of the Takasago Hydrogen Park, which will be the world's first facility to consistently verify technologies ranging from hydrogen production to power generation, with the aim of early commercializing hydrogen gas turbines that use hydrogen as fuel.
Takasago Hydrogen Park is divided into areas with three functions: hydrogen production, storage, and utilization. First, in the "Production" area, it installed and started operating an alkaline water electrolysis device manufactured by HydrogenPro AS of Norway, which has one of the world's largest hydrogen production capacities of 1,100Nm3/h. The hydrogen produced at the facility will be stored in hydrogen storage equipment with a total capacity of 39,000Nm3 installed in the "storage" area. In addition, actual verification of hydrogen combustion will be conducted using a large gas turbine (450,000 kW class) at the demonstration facility combined cycle power plant located in the "use" area, and a small to medium-sized gas turbine (40,000 kW class) at the combustion test facility.
By the end of this year, it will use a large gas turbine to verify 30% hydrogen co-fired power generation while connected to the power grid, just like an actual power plant. Furthermore, in 2024, it plans to demonstrate hydrogen-only combustion using small and medium-sized gas turbines. Based on its "MISSION NET ZERO," which aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040, the MHI Group is focusing on three initiatives: "decarbonizing existing infrastructure," "realizing a hydrogen ecosystem," and "realizing a CO2 ecosystem."
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