Mitsui: Joint study agreement reached to assess the development of a clean hydrogen supply chain between the United Arab Emirates and Japan

The three Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) of the United Arab Emirates (“UAE”), ENEOS Corporation (“ENEOS”, Chairman: Saito Takeshi) and Mitsui & Co., Ltd. (“Mitsui”, President and CEO: Kenichi Hori), have entered into a joint study agreement to begin evaluating the development of a clean hydrogen supply chain between the UAE and Japan.

The project aims to be developed in two phases, with the first phase using by-product hydrogen from ADNOC’s system at Ruwais Industrial Estate in Abu Dhabi, while phase 2 envisions the production of blue hydrogen *1 greenfield from natural gas. The hydrogen will be transformed into methylcyclohexane (“MCH”)*2, an efficient form of hydrogen transport carrier for export to Japan. The three companies will carry out an engineering and technical verification of a hydrogen production facility with a capacity of 50,000 tonnes per year, as well as a feasibility study on the potential for extending this facility to commercial production of 200,000 tons per year.

ADNOC is accelerating its decarbonization efforts and in this regard CCUS options are being explored with the aim of establishing a highly competitive blue hydrogen supply business using existing facilities such as refineries and petrochemical plants. As part of these initiatives, ADNOC will be responsible for the hydrogen production component of this joint feasibility study.

One of the objectives envisaged by the ENEOS Group, stated in its long-term vision until 2040, is to contribute to the realization of a low-carbon and recycling-oriented society, and the ENEOS Group aims to achieve carbon neutrality. ENEOS, which is working to build a CO2-free hydrogen supply chain, will lead the verification of MCH’s production and shipping facilities in the United Arab Emirates under the “Green Innovation Fund Project (Demonstration scale of an MCH supply chain)” which has been adopted by the National Research and Development Agency, New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO)

Mitsui has been developing and participating in liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects in the United Arab Emirates with ADNOC since the 1970s, and since 2017, through its participation in the Advanced Hydrogen Energy Chain Association for Technology Development (AHEAD), the company engaged in R&D for large-scale transport and storage of hydrogen using MCH. By contributing to this project, Mitsui will build on the knowledge and experience gained from these LNG and hydrogen operations.

The three companies aim to establish a stable and economically viable supply chain of clean hydrogen, leveraging their respective assets as well as their accumulated technologies and knowledge to achieve carbon neutrality.

*1 hydrogen produced from CO2 captured and stored in the production process
*2 MCH is a hydrocarbon compound that exists in a liquid state at normal temperature and pressure. It can be transported and stored using existing refining facilities such as tanks, pipes and docks, as well as petroleum and chemical transport infrastructure such as chemical tankers and trucks.

Sara H. Byrd