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Japan signs first hydrogen cooperation deal with UAE to consider supply chain


Considering supplying hydrogen to Japan

Looking to study use of hydrogen in Abu Dhabi and exports

METI signed first ammonia cooperation deal with ADNOC in Jan

  • Author
  • Takeo Kumagai
  • Editor
  • Claudia Carpenter
  • Commodity
  • Coal Electric Power Natural Gas Oil Petrochemicals

Tokyo — Japan will jointly consider developing an international hydrogen supply chain with the UAE under its first bilateral hydrogen cooperation deal as it accelerates its efforts to deploy large-scale use of hydrogen in the country as among key measures toward carbon neutrality.

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Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry on April 8 signed a memorandum of cooperation with the UAE's Ministry of Energy & Infrastructure to jointly consider developing an international hydrogen supply chain with an eye to supply the fuel to Japan.

Japan's State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Kiyoshi Ejima signed the MOC with UAE Minister of Energy and Infrastructure Suhail al-Mazrouei under which the two countries will also consider hydrogen production and its technology as well as exchange information on hydrogen regulations and standards, and cooperate in safety.

The MOC stipulates that METI and the UAE ministry will cooperate in areas including development of hydrogen technologies, running a feasibility study involving the hydrogen production in the UAE and its transportation to Japan and consideration of initiatives to promote the use of hydrogen bilaterally, regionally and internationally.

The two countries may also look at holding hydrogen workshops together with the private sector as well as following up efforts sought by the private sector to advance cooperation on hydrogen supply and utilization.

METI and the UAE ministry will also jointly consider conducting research on production and use of hydrogen derived from renewable energy, production of hydrogen from fossil fuels with carbon dioxide storage, with an eye to export hydrogen to Japan, as well as use of hydrogen in Abu Dhabi and possibly for exports, according to METI.

Green strategy

In December, Japan formulated its carbon neutral 2050 strategy with the aim to produce 3 million mt/year of hydrogen by 2030 and 20 million mt/year by 2050 by accelerating developments of international supply networks as well as cultivating demand in various sectors.

The Green Growth Strategy for 2050 Carbon Neutral includes plans for ammonia, following the carbon neutrality target announced by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga in October.

METI in January also struck the first fuel ammonia cooperation deal with UAE's state-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. as Tokyo intends to develop its supply chain of blue ammonia possibly in the Middle East by the late 2020s.

Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, vice-chairman of the former Supreme Petroleum Council, has also instructed ADNOC "to explore potential opportunities in hydrogen with the ambition to position the UAE as a hydrogen leader," ADNOC said Nov. 22.

ADNOC is also investing in carbon capture, utilization and storage. Currently ADNOC's Al Reyadah facility has the capacity to capture 800,000 mt of CO2 annually and the company plans to expand the capacity six-fold by capturing CO2 from its own gas plants, with the aim of reaching 5 million mt of CO2 every year by 2030.

Japan sees the UAE as one of the country's most important crude oil suppliers for its energy security with its upstream presence in Abu Dhabi. Japan imported 795,656 b/d of crude oil from the UAE in 2020, when it was the second largest crude supplier, accounting for 32% of the total imports, according to METI data.