Sempra Infrastructure, a subsidiary of Sempra, has signed an agreement with a consortium of Japanese companies, to participate in a proposed e-natural gas project in the US Gulf Coast.

The consortium comprises Japanese gas utilities Tokyo Gas Co., Osaka Gas Co., Toho Gas Co., and Mitsubishi Corp., which have been conducting preliminary feasibility work since 2022.

The proposed project is anticipated to produce 130,000 tonnes of e-natural gas annually.

The produced e-natural gas would be liquified through Mitsubishi’s Cameron LNG terminal in Southwest Louisiana and exported to Japan, where it is commonly referred to as e-methane.

Along with the construction of facilities to produce the e-natural gas, the proposed project also includes the production or procurement of green hydrogen.

Sempra Infrastructure said that the project enables an international supply chain of liquified e-natural gas, a synthetic gas produced from renewable hydrogen and carbon dioxide.

Sempra Infrastructure CEO Justin Bird said: “Sempra Infrastructure is excited to bring its essential infrastructure development experience to this collaboration with Tokyo Gas, Osaka Gas, Toho Gas and Mitsubishi Corporation.

“The project would allow existing natural gas infrastructure, including the global liquefied natural gas supply chain and the gas distribution systems in nations across the world, to be used as the backbone for the delivery of a long-term, carbon-neutral fuel.

“Sempra Infrastructure has strong strategic alignment with the goals of the consortium and is well-positioned to support this innovative opportunity by building on what we do well: developing energy infrastructure that provides access to safe, secure, affordable and lower and zero-carbon energy for our global partners.”

Currently, the US Department of Energy and Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry are implementing a Memorandum of Cooperation for carbon capture, usage and storage, conversion and recycling, and removal of carbon dioxide.

The proposed e-natural gas project would meet the objectives in the memorandum, and could complement it, should the policy frameworks recognize e-natural gas as a carbon-neutral fuel.

The development of the project is subject to reaching commercial agreements, securing necessary permits, and financing, and reaching a final investment decision, among others.

Tokyo Gas representative executive officer Kentaro Kimoto, Osaka Gas senior executive officer Keiji Takemori, Toho Gas managing executive officer Takeo Haigo, Mitsubishi Corporation executive vice president Masaru Saito said: “Tokyo Gas, Osaka Gas, Toho Gas and Mitsubishi Corporation intend to realize the world’s first large-scale production and international supply chain of e-natural gas and have been progressing feasibility work.

“The US Gulf Coast is an ideal location for this type of facility and we are pleased to partner with Sempra Infrastructure, a company with a reliable and qualified track-record of developing energy infrastructure in this region.”