Mitsui and Mitsubishi are joining forces with Sempra Infrastructure to market LNG produced through a process with 90% lower carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions, reported Nikkei.  

This greener LNG production partnership aims to commence production around 2029 at a facility in Louisiana, US, with a production capacity of 6.75 million tonnes per annum (mtpa). 

Besides the Japanese trading giants, the partnership is set to include other companies.  

The process will help in transitioning from conventional gas turbines to electric motors powered by renewable energy, predominantly solar power.  

In conjunction with carbon capture technology, this method is expected to reduce emissions from production by 80–90%, significantly lowering the fuel’s life cycle carbon footprint, excluding combustion. 

The cost of this greener LNG is expected to be comparable to current production methods.  

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Mitsui and Mitsubishi are currently negotiating to supply this LNG to Japanese electricity and gas companies.  

These utilities are under increasing pressure from their commercial clients in manufacturing and retail to adopt energy sources with reduced carbon emissions from production through to consumption. 

Natural gas is known to emit less CO₂ upon combustion compared with oil or coal.  

According to Shell, demand for LNG could increase by more than 50% from 2023 to 2040.  

As energy producers, including Qatar, strive to reduce their carbon footprints, early providers of greener LNG could secure a competitive advantage in attracting new customers. 

Japan imports approximately 20% of its LNG from Sempra’s Louisiana facilities, with companies such as JERA being key buyers.  

Sempra holds an interest in Cameron LNG, a 12mtpa export facility in Hackberry, Louisiana, and is developing additional LNG export facilities in North America. 

In August 2023, Sempra reached an agreement with a Japanese consortium including Tokyo Gas, Osaka Gas, Toho Gas and Mitsubishi to produce e-natural gas, a synthetic gas made from CO₂ and renewable hydrogen.  

This project, if successful, could establish the first link in a global supply chain for liquified e-natural gas, according to Sempra.