Japanese firms Sumitomo Chemical Co, Maruzen Petrochemical Co., and Mitsui Chemicals have signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly study the feasibility of implementing collaborative projects at the Keiyo Coastal Industrial Complex, located in Chiba, Japan, with the aim of achieving carbon neutrality. Under this agreement, the three companies will explore the possibility of working together to carry out measures for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, such as the conversion of fuels and feedstock. All three have operations at Keiyo, hence the interest in this.
The chemical industry provides various materials essential to people’s lives, ranging from daily necessities to materials for semiconductors. Meanwhile, the industry, which consumes a large amount of fossil resources and energy in its value chain, accounts for about 15% of the carbon dioxide emitted by the industrial sector in Japan in fiscal 2020.
Accordingly, the industry is aware that it has a critical role to play to achieve the Japanese government’s goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050. Specifically, for reducing GHG emissions from production, chemical companies need to change fuels to carbon-free sources, while also replacing crude oil-derived naphtha as their major feedstock by developing and implementing carbon recycling technology, among other measures.
To implement these transformations promptly and effectively at the Keiyo Coastal Industrial Complex, one of Japan’s largest industrial complexes, where there is a concentration of materials and energy industries, there is an increasing need not only for each individual company’s action but also for collective efforts among the companies concerned.
Under these circumstances, Sumitomo Chemical, Maruzen Petrochemical, and Mitsui Chemicals, all of which have operations in the Keiyo Coastal Industrial Complex, have agreed to jointly study the feasibility of collaborating towards achieving carbon neutrality. The three companies will, with the aim of diversifying feedstock, consider utilising biomass resources instead of petroleum resources and developing and implementing new chemical recycling and material recycling technologies, as well as explore how to source biomass and collect waste for recycling. In addition, they will consider the conversion of fuels used in their manufacturing facilities, such as naphtha crackers, and the renewal of infrastructure associated with it.
These efforts will not be limited to the three companies. Sumitomo Chemical, Maruzen Petrochemical, and Mitsui Chemicals will work to engage related local governments and companies through such initiatives as the Keiyo Coastal Industrial Complex Council on Carbon Neutrality led by the government of Chiba Prefecture, Japan.