Carbon capture and storage

Sumitomo and UAE Producer Ink MOU for CCS Project

Tokyo is seeking partnerships in the UAE to leverage its technologies to produce clean energy for export back to Japan.

Sharjah City_Emirate of Sharjah.jpg
Sharjah City in UAE's Emirate of Sharjah. Source: Dreamstime

Sumitomo Corporation’s Middle East subsidiary has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Sharjah National Oil Corporation (SNOC) to jointly study the feasibility of developing a carbon capture and storage (CCS) project in the Emirate of Sharjah.

The project would capture CO2 from industrial emitters in Sharjah and neighboring emirates for storage in an onshore mature gas field that SNOC owns and operates, according to a Sumitomo press statement issued on 25 July.

The gas field in question has a potential storage capacity exceeding several hundred million tons of CO2 and is located near multiple large-scale industrial CO2 sources, including power plants.

The feasibility study would include a techno-economic analysis to assess the applicability of Japanese technologies relevant to carbon capture, transport and storage, identification of business models, and assessment of regulatory frameworks.

Sumitomo has been on the hunt for partners to develop CCS projects globally using Japanese technologies while SNOC, a major natural gas, condensate, and LPG producer in the UAE, has sought to repurpose its mature gas reservoirs in Sharjah.

One of the concepts to be assessed would be to offer CCS as a service to CO2 emitters and/or to generate and trade carbon credits (including carbon-removal credits), with intent to establish a future large-scale CCS hub centered in Sharjah but serving industries throughout the UAE and its government’s net-zero 2050 ambitions.

Japan Seeks Clean Fuel Imports

The MOU was signed during the “UAE-Japan Business Forum," organized by the Ministry of Economy of the UAE on 17 July in the presence of Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and H.H. Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, managing director of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.

During his trip to Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Qatar in July, Japan’s prime minister promoted a variety of technologies for energy transition, including those for hydrogen and ammonia which Tokyo could import back home as cleaner fuels. 

In aiming to diversify its economy away from fossil fuels, Japan is promoting its green technology in the Gulf countries which are seeking their own transformation from one of the world's biggest oil producers into a global clean energy hub.

"We are delighted to cooperate on the development of a CCS value chain in the Northern Emirates with SNOC. We believe there is big potential for CCS in the Middle East, as it is a key technology to materialize energy transition,” Hajime Mori, managing director of Sumitomo Corporation Middle East FZE, said during the signing.

SNOC’s CEO Hatem Al Mosa noted that the feasibility study will involve collaboration “with industry leaders, environmental organizations, and regulators” as SNOC seeks to pursue its goal of reaching net zero in its own operations by 2032.