ADNOC, ENEOS and Mitsui to study clean hydrogen supply chain
Photo courtesy of ADNOC

ADNOC, ENEOS and Mitsui to study clean hydrogen supply chain

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), together with Japan’s ENEOS Corporation and Mitsui & Co., Ltd., have formed a joint study agreement to begin evaluating the development of a clean hydrogen supply chain between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Japan.

The project aims to be developed in two phases, with the first phase utilizing by-product hydrogen from ADNOC’s system in Ruwais Industrial Area in Abu Dhabi, UAE, while Phase 2 envisages greenfield blue hydrogen production from natural gas. The hydrogen will be transformed to methylcyclohexane (MCH), an efficient form of hydrogen transport vector to export to Japan. 

MCH is a hydrocarbon compound that exists in a liquid state at normal temperature and pressure. It can be transported and stored using existing refinery facilities such as tanks, pipes, and wharfs, as well as petroleum and chemical transportation infrastructure such as chemical tankers and lorries.

The three companies will conduct technical and engineering verification of a hydrogen production facility with a capacity of 50,000 tons per year, and a feasibility study on the potential to expand this facility to commercial production of 200,000 tons per year.

ADNOC is accelerating its efforts in decarbonization, and in this regard carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS) options are being explored with an aim to establish a highly competitive blue hydrogen supply business utilizing existing facilities such as refineries and petrochemical plants. As part of these initiatives, ADNOC will be responsible for the hydrogen production component of this joint feasibility study.

CCUS is a technology that can capture and make effective use of the high concentrations of CO₂ emitted by industrial activities. Consequently, it has a key role to play in decarbonization and in addressing the challenge of global climate change. 

One of the ENEOS Group’s goals in its Long-Term Vision to 2040 is to contribute to the achievement of a low-carbon, recycling-oriented society, and the ENEOS Group is aiming to achieve carbon neutrality. ENEOS, which is working to build a CO₂-free hydrogen supply chain, will lead the verification of MCH production and shipping facilities in the UAE as a part of “Green Innovation Fund Project” which was adopted by Japan’s National Research and Development Agency, the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO).

Mitsui has been developing and participating in liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects in the UAE with ADNOC since the 1970s, and since 2017, through participation in the Advanced Hydrogen Energy Chain Association for Technology Development (AHEAD), the company has engaged in R&D for the large-scale transportation and storage of hydrogen using MCH. In contributing to this project, Mitsui will draw on the knowledge and experience gained through these LNG and hydrogen-related operations.

The three companies aim to establish a stable and economically viable supply chain of clean hydrogen, leveraging their respective assets as well as their accumulated technologies and knowledge to achieve carbon neutrality.