06 June 2021

Enviro Chat

The UAE has signalled its intention to support Japan’s Green Growth Strategy by signing a memorandum of cooperation (MOC) with the East Asian country. The deal was struck between the Emirati Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure and the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) last month.

Under the terms of the arrangement, the UAE will explore the possibilities of creating an international supply chain of hydrogen with Japan. Meanwhile, the two countries will also work in tandem to develop hydrogen production technologies and share their knowledge on the subject, thereby contributing towards Japanese efforts to enhance the sustainability of its economic and energy profile.

Working together

The MOC covers collaborative investigation of hydrogen production in the UAE, as well as the potential development of a supply chain capable of transferring the gas to Japan. As part of Japan’s Green Growth Strategy, the government has pledged to generate three million tonnes of hydrogen every year by 2030 and 20 million tonnes of the fuel source annually by 2050. This memorandum is regarded as one of the first steps on that path.

In addition to discussing the supply and delivery of hydrogen from the UAE to Japan, the deal also includes close collaboration on the best practices and safety standards surrounding the production of the gas. It’s thought that the two nations are likely to engage the private sector in their efforts as well, by hosting workshops and implementing initiatives that encourage the use of hydrogen both locally and internationally.

Strengthening ties

The latest MOC comes off the back of a previously agreed deal between METI and the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) regarding the production of blue ammonia. Japan is hoping to locate a source of blue ammonia and develop a supply chain for its delivery to the archipelago nation by the end of this decade, with the UAE viewed as a prime location.

Both hydrogen and blue ammonia are seen as key fuel sources for Japan going forwards, thanks to their environmentally friendly credentials. The country is aiming to use more green fuel in industry and transportation, but sees gases like hydrogen and blue ammonia as excellent supplementary alternatives to biomass.

ADNOC’s ambitions

The ADNOC deal is just one more indicator of how the company is keen to move with the times and make its business more sustainable. The Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed has already told ADNOC that he wishes the country to become a global powerhouse in hydrogen production and exportation, which is why the MOC with Japan makes perfect sense.

Elsewhere, ADNOC continues to pursue advances in carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology. At present, the company’s facility in Al-Reyadah has the ability to capture 800,000 mega-tonnes of carbon on a yearly basis, but those in charge hope to enlarge that capacity to reach a whopping five million mega-tonnes of CO2 annually by 2030.

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