Contributing to the Carbon-neutral Society through the Importation of Biomethane

Source: 3/22/2024, Location: Asia

Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd. ("Tokyo Gas", Head Office: Tokyo, Representative Corporate Executive Officer, President and CEO: Shinichi Sasayama) and Mitsui & Co., Ltd. ("Mitsui", Head Office: Tokyo, President and CEO: Kenichi Hori) have reached agreement on a transaction related to biomethane produced overseas. Based on this agreement, approximately 40,000 cubic meters of biomethane (gas equivalent) derived from biogas*1 emitted from landfills in the United States was regarded to be liquefied as a component of LNG. The first delivery of this product to Japan*2 took place*3 on March 19 at Tokyo Gas' Ohgishima LNG Terminal.

Biomethane is defined as biogas refined until the methane concentration is the same as natural gas. The use of organic methane from waste (which would otherwise be released into the atmosphere) as an alternative to fossil fuels is seen as a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Under the Japanese system, CO2 emissions from biomass fuels are excluded from the calculations stipulated in the Act on Promotion of Global Warming Countermeasures. The aim of this initiative is to achieve a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by using biomethane produced overseas. Since biomethane is identical with the methane used as the main ingredient of city gas, it can be used in the existing LNG and city gas infrastructure. It will therefore be possible to make progress toward achieving carbon neutrality while minimizing additional social costs.

Under its Group Management Vision, "Compass 2030", Tokyo Gas aims to achieve net zero CO2 emissions by pursuing a combination of strategies in collaboration with various companies in Japan and overseas. Those strategies include the use of renewable energy, synthetic methane (e-methane*4), biomethane, hydrogen, and CCUS.

Mitsui has positioned securing the reliable supply of energy and the achievement of carbon neutrality as priority goals. Its initiatives to provide its customers with decarbonization solutions include investment and participation in biomethane production in the United States*5.

Through this initiative, Tokyo Gas and Mitsui will work together to build an international supply chain for biomethane. They will also pursue various other initiatives toward the achievement of the Japanese government's goal of turning Japan into a carbon-neutral society by 2050.

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