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METI and US DOE Conclude a Cooperation Document in the Field of CCUS

On October 17, 2017, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Department of Energy (DOE) of the United States signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) Concerning the Field of Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage.

1. Background

Global society has had growing expectations for the field of CCUS (Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage)* as a mid- to long-term technology contributing to large-scale reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Also as an approach to achieving Japan’s long-term goal set in the Paris Agreement enforced in 2016, stipulating that member countries endeavor to keep the global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

METI has been engaging in research and development efforts as well as demonstration tests for technologies for collecting and storing carbon dioxide. As part of these efforts, in 2015, Japan and the U.S. signed an MOC to advance Japan-US joint R&D, and since then, METI has been advancing a variety of projects, including data analysis with the University of Texas at the demonstration site in Tomakomai, Hokkaido Prefecture, and a monitoring demonstration test with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the U.S., using optical fibers.

Meanwhile, the U.S. is a global leader for projects making use of the enhanced oil recovery (EOR) approach in which carbon dioxide is utilized in increasing oil production. Along with this trend, some Japanese companies are already participating in these projects. Against this backdrop, METI and DOE revised the MOC and signed it new aiming to advance the formulation of new Japan-US projects involving CCUS, including EOR.

Bilateral meeting between Minister Seko and Deputy Secretary Brouillette

METI will continue to collaborate with industrial players and related organizations and support Japanese industries in further exporting Japan’s outstanding technologies in the field of CCUS as low-carbon technologies overseas, and also will contribute to reducing global carbon emissions.

*Note:According to the report released by the International Energy Agency (IEA), about 13% of the total amount of reduced emissions should be achieved by CCS (Carbon Capture and Storage) to accomplish the 2-degrees-Celsius goal by 2050 while making a balance with economic performance.

2. Outline of the MOC

Key points of the MOC are as follows:

(1)Both sides will expand the MOC to a new Japan-US comprehensive cooperation framework in the field of CCUS to include efforts for promoting project formulation, in addition to joint research efforts.

(2)Specifically, both sides will respectively choose project coordinators, establish public-private dialogues bringing together businesses as well, and conduct follow-up efforts for project formulation in Japan and the U.S.

(3)Moreover, both sides will advance cooperation for project formulation in the field of CCUS in other countries, including emerging markets in Asian countries.

Release date

October 18, 2017

Division in Charge

Global Environment Partnership Office, Industrial Science and Technology Policy and Environment Bureau

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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