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Petronas explores exports of ‘carbon neutral methane’ to Japan

© BloombergMalaysia's Petronas: is exploring 'carbon neutral methane' Photographer: Goh Seng Chong/Bloomberg
Malaysia's Petronas: is exploring 'carbon neutral methane' Photographer: Goh Seng Chong/Bloomberg

Malaysia’s Petronas, along with Japanese companies Sumitomo and Tokyo Gas, will carry out a feasibility study to establish a supply chain of ‘carbon neutral methane’ to Japan.

“The carbon neutral methane will be produced in Malaysia by methanation, using green hydrogen from renewable energy and carbon dioxide,” Tokyo Gas said in a statement.

Carbon neutral methane is the methane synthetised by hydrogen produced from renewable energy and carbon dioxide (CO2). CO2 emitted when carbon neutral methane is used (combusted), as well as CO2 separated or captured, will be offset and therefore the amount of CO2 emission will not increase by the use of this gas produced by methanation, claimed Tokyo Gas.

‘Methanation’ is the technology to have hydrogen and CO2 chemically reacted to produce methane, which is a major component of city gas. Carbon neutral methane synthesised with the methanation technology will realise the use of high calorific energy by known techniques without increasing emission of carbon dioxide from its production up until end usage, reckons Tokyo Gas.

Tokyo Gas said this process can also be done by utilising existing infrastructures such as natural gas liquefaction (NGL) plant, liquefied natural gas (LNG) vessels and city gas supplying facilities.

Synthetic methane is gaining popularity as a method to produce gas that is needed for heating, as it contributes positively to de-carbonisation in line with the Japanese governmentʼs target to realise “carbon neutrality and de-carbonised society in 2050” added Tokyo Gas.

“Petronas with its resources and capabilities as a major natural gas solutions provider in the world, Sumitomo Corporation with knowledge of business development in next-generation energies and Tokyo Gas with technologies and plant engineering knowhow related to methanation will join forces to contribute to carbon neutrality by introducing carbon neutral methane as an alternative energy source for the Japan market,” said Tokyo Gas.

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