Sempra Infrastructure has announced an agreement with a consortium of Tokyo Gas Company, Osaka Gas Company, Toho Gas Company and Mitsubishi Corp to participate in the evaluation of a project to produce e-natural gas, a form of carbon recycling, on the US Gulf Coast. If the project is successful, it could be the first link of an international supply chain of liquefied e-natural gas, a synthetic product made from renewable hydrogen and carbon dioxide.
The consortium is comprised of three of the leading gas utilities in Japan and Mitsubishi Corp which have been conducting preliminary feasibility work on the project since 2022. With the addition of Sempra Infrastructure, the companies seek to advance the energy transition through the global market for liquefied e-natural gas.
The project as proposed is anticipated to produce 130 000 tonnes of e-natural gas per year that would be liquefied via Mitsubishi Corp's tolling capacity at the Cameron LNG terminal in Southwest Louisiana, and exported to Japan, where the product is commonly referred to as e-methane. The project is anticipated to include the production or procurement of green hydrogen, as well as the construction of facilities to produce the e-natural gas.
The US Department of Energy and Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry are currently implementing a Memorandum of Co-operation in the field of carbon capture, utilisation and storage, conversion and recycling, and carbon dioxide removal. This project would meet many of the objectives in the memorandum, and could complement it, should the policy frameworks recognise e-natural gas as a carbon-neutral fuel.
Successful development of the project is contingent upon completing the required commercial agreements, securing and/or maintaining all necessary permits, obtaining financing, and reaching a final investment decision, among other factors and considerations.