Malaysian national oil company (NOC) Petronas and JERA – a joint fuel-procurement venture between Japan’s Tokyo Electric Power and Chubu Electric Power – have signed a memorandum of understanding that will see the pair collaborate on a wide range of low-carbon energy initiatives, covering liquefied natural gas (LNG), ammonia and hydrogen.
“We are proud to elevate our four-decade long relationship with JERA which will not only see us explore emerging low-carbon energy sources such as ammonia and hydrogen but also to strengthen our LNG partnership,” said Petronas executive vice president, gas & new energy, Adnan Zainal Abidin.
“Importantly, the scope of collaboration also opens up opportunities across Petronas’ integrated value chain and beyond the borders of Japan as we seek to grow the use of low-carbon energy sources globally,” said Adnan.
The MoU is a result of both companies’ shared vision of achieving net zero carbon emissions. In November 2020, Petronas announced its aspiration to achieve ‘Net Zero Carbon Emissions by 2050’ as part of its holistic approach to sustainability and to grow its business in ways that contribute positively to society and the environment.
JERA, around the same time, established the ‘JERA Zero CO2 Emissions 2050’ in October 2020, which are guided by advances in decarbonisation technology, economic rationality, and consistency with Japanese government policies. As part of JERA’s net zero emissions journey, Japan’s biggest power company will be looking into closing inefficient coal-fired generators in Japan by 2030, gradually increase mixed combustion of fossil fuels, use ammonia and hydrogen at its thermal power plants and promote renewable energy development.
Petronas and JERA said they will intensify collaboration in the supply chains for ammonia and hydrogen fuels while continuing to advocate for the use of LNG. This builds upon Petronas’ position as one of the world’s largest LNG producers, experience as a reliable producer of ammonia, as well as the establishment of the company’s hydrogen business in November 2020.
Petronas is already producing blue hydrogen as a by-product from its facilities and will be exploring the commercial production of green hydrogen in the near future. Coupled with its inherent geographical advantage, expanding renewables portfolio, strong partnerships with customers and continued focus on research and development of electrolyser technology, the NOC claims it is well-poised to be a competitive low-carbon and green hydrogen solutions provider.
In the LNG space, Petronas and JERA will be collaborating to expand the use of natural gas as a cleaner marine fuel through LNG bunkering solutions, in support of International Maritime Organization (IMO) regulations on greenhouse gas emissions. Through the MoU, the pair will explore the establishment of a global bunkering supply network, leveraging on both companies’ experience in LNG bunkering.
In November 2020, Petronas had completed its maiden LNG bunkering operation at Pasir Gudang, Malaysia, whereas JERA had completed its first LNG bunkering operation in Japan in October 2020.