This week in energy: decarbonising steel, the balance of transition and crossover on the sea floor

Each Friday, the Asia Natural Gas and Energy Association (ANGEA) compiles stories from the energy world that have caught our eye over the course of the week.

Given the region in which we operate – and our purpose – this collection of content is largely Asia-focussed. But we also look further afield, knowing that developments, trends and technology from around the world also have an impact across our region.

Here’s what’s resonated over the past seven days…

Challenge of balance a hot topic at Davos
One of the challenges in energy transition that ANGEA and its member companies are always keen to highlight and discuss is the issue of balance. We strongly believe that natural gas can play a crucial role in maintaining economic growth in Asia while also making progress towards a lower carbon future.

It was interesting to see the same topic high on the agenda for discussion by Asian countries at the World Economic Forum in Davos recently. There are no easy solutions but the conversation is an important one, as raised in an article this week on the Eco-Business website.

Read more:

The reality of energy transition
In a similar vein, an opinion piece on the same website by S&P Global’s Vice Chairman Daniel Yergin sums up the energy transition “juggling act” that will take place across much of the world but particularly in Asia.

“While the direction of the energy transition is clear, policymakers and the public must recognise the challenges that it entails. A deeper and more realistic understanding of the complex issues that need to be addressed is essential as the effort to achieve the transition’s goals proceeds.”

Read more:

Decarbonising the steelmaking process
Steelmaking is a major industry in Japan and also a significant source of carbon dioxide emissions – 131 million tonnes of CO2 in fiscal 2020, more than any other industry and accounting for more than 10 per cent of national emissions.

With that in mind, it’s extremely encouraging to see Nippon Steel moving to collaborate with ANGEA member company ExxonMobil (and Mitsubishi Corp) on potential options to capture carbon from its Japanese mills and transport them for storage in places like Australia, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Read more:

CO2 removed at record low cost
Speaking of carbon capture, there was yet another important milestone for this emerging and important technology this week.

A lab in the US has discovered a way to pull CO2 out of the flue of a power plant and factory at record low cost, and turn some of into a spin-off product that can be sold to offset the price of installing the technology.

Read more:

Double-parked on the North Sea floor?
One of the challenges associated with decarbonisation can be finding the space in which to do it. This is especially the case in Asia, where countries like Singapore and Japan struggle to find the land required to build large-scale solar and wind farms.

But this situation off the UK coast is something else, with BP hoping to build a giant carbon capture facility and Orsted seeking to construct a huge wind farm…with a troublesome crossover on the seafloor.

Read more:

Ammonia adoption gathering more momentum
Ammonia’s potential as a carbon-neutral fuel is something ANGEA’s members are strongly invested in – and this week brought another sign of its potential importance to Asia’s future.

Japan’s IHI Group has started studies on possible conversion of LNG-receiving and storage terminals located close to gas-fired power plants into ammonia-based facilities. The modifications would happen in the second half of the decade and IHI hopes to use ammonia for boilers and gas turbines.

Read more:

Happy sails for the JMS Sunshine
We’re very pleased to see a fleet of hybrid tugs coming into operation in Singapore – the first of which was officially named last week.

The JMS Sunshine has a pure LNG engine and an energy storage system based on a lithium-ion battery, and can operate emission-free during idling and low-speed transit.

Read more:

ANGEA is an industry association representing LNG and natural gas producers, energy buyers, suppliers and companies in APAC. Based in Singapore, it works in partnership with governments and societies across the region to deliver reliable and secure energy solutions that achieve national economic, energy security, social and environmental objectives and meet global climate goals.