Japan will hold talks with Malaysia on storing power plant and industrial emissions in the Southeast Asian nation, with an aim of the first shipment in 2028.
Yasutoshi Nishimura, Japan's minister for economy, trade and industry, is expected to meet with senior executives from Malaysia's state-run energy firm Petronas during a series of conferences on decarbonization starting on September 25.
The Ministry and the Japan Organization for Metals and Energy Security (JOGMEC) are expected to sign a memorandum of understanding on specific steps toward the carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects with Petronas.
According to the proposed projects, CO2 emitted in Japan would be liquefied and transported for storage at sites in Malaysia including offshore natural gas fields. Fuels with low environmental impact, such as hydrogen or ammonia, would be used to power the vessels.
If it works out, the joint initiative would be the first international CO2 shipment in Asia. Tokyo hopes the venture may serve as a model for setting rules on carbon dioxide transportation the region.
Under proposed international emissions rules, carbon that is captured and stored underground would count as an emissions reduction.
Japan and Southeast Asian countries, which are highly dependent on fossil fuels, see CCS as a promising way to curb emissions while maintaining stable supplies of electricity.
Japan targets to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, with plans to store 120 million to 240 million tonnes of CO2 a year underground, equivalent to 10% to 20% of current emissions.
Studies for underground CO2 storage are underway in various sites in Japan, including the city of Tomakomai in Hokkaido. Malaysia is considered to have many suitable sites that could help Japan diversify its storage options.
Introducing CCS technology will require around 4 trillion yen ($27 billion) of investment over the next 10 years and tens of trillions of yen more after that, according to Japanese government. Some funding will come from "green transformation" bonds, which began issue in this fiscal year.