November 25, 2019
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) hereby announces that the large scale CCS Demonstration Project in Tomakomai City, reached the goal of successfully injecting 300,000 tons in total of carbon dioxide (CO2) underground. The project has since paused therefore, but continues to monitor CO2 that has already been injected. Moreover, METI will hold discussions by experts to examine the outcomes of the demonstration project and future challenges therein and will release the results of the discussions.
1. Outline of CCS technology
Carbon dioxide Capture and Storage (CCS) is a technology to collect CO2 emitted from plants, power plants and other facilities before release and dispersion into the air and to reserve the collected CO2 underground. In its Long-Term Strategy under the Paris Agreement as Growth Strategy, a compilation approved by the Cabinet in June 2019, Japan has positioned CCS as a technology for which it has been stated that “Japan should hold discussions on starting introduction of CCS by 2030 on the premise of its commercialization, in particular in terms of coal fired power generation.”
2. Overview of the Tomakomai CCS Demonstration Project
From FY2012 to FY2017, METI commissioned its Demonstration Project for Technologies for Reducing Carbon Dioxide to Japan CCS Co., Ltd. and it started the demonstration project in Tomakomai City. For two years from FY2018 to FY2019, the project has been undertaken as part of the NEDO CCS Research and Development-Related Project: Large-scale Demonstration Project in Tomakomai City, to which the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) granted funds.
For four years from FY2012 to FY2015, the project designed and constructed facilities for separating CO2 from emitted gases and collecting it and those for injecting collected CO2 underground, and it also drilled ground to build observation and injection wells. In parallel with this effort, aiming to confirm the fact that injection of CO2 into reservation layers does not make any impact on the surrounding environments, the project installed a system for monitoring data on geological layers and earthquakes, acquired basic data before injection, and also conducted a preliminary survey on sea and marine creatures under the Act on Prevention of Marine Pollution.
From April 2016, setting a goal of 100,000 tons level of CO2 injection per year, the project started injection of CO2 into underground layers below nearly 1,000m from the seabed and below nearly 2,400m from it, and on November 22 (Fri.), 2019, the project finally reached the goal of 300,000 tons of CO2 injection in total. In response to the achievement of the goal, the project paused further CO2 injection from November 22, 2019.
3. Future schedule
The project will continue monitoring and other efforts, including observing very small oscillations in the areas surrounding the reservoir point, surveying marine environments and checking behaviors of injected CO2, e.g., displacement and spreading.
METI will hold discussions by experts to examine the outcomes of the project and future challenges therein and will release the results of the discussions.
METI will continue to advance the project while obtaining understanding and cooperation from the municipality and local stakeholders in Tomakomai City.
Links to Related Information
Division in Charge
Global Environmental Affairs Office, Industrial Science and Technology Policy and Environment Bureau