Sumitomo is joining forces with Sharjah National Oil Corporation (SNOC) to undertake a feasibility study aimed at exploring the possibilities of carbon capture and storage (CCS) in Sharjah and beyond.

In this connection, the Japanese trading and investment company, through its 100% subsidiary Sumitomo Corporation Middle East FZE, has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the energy producer based in Sharjah, UAE.

The CCS project’s primary objective is to capture CO2 emissions from industries in Sharjah and the nearby Emirates. The captured CO2 will be transported and stored in an onshore mature gas field owned and operated by SNOC.

The purpose of the initiative is to offer CCS as a service to CO2 emitters and potentially generate and trade carbon credits, including carbon removal credits. Additionally, there is a long-term vision to set up a substantial CCS hub centred in Sharjah, said Sumitomo.

Sumitomo Corporation Middle East FZE managing director Hajime Mori said: “We are delighted to cooperate on the development of a CCS value chain in the Northern Emirates with SNOC. We believe there is big potential for CCS in the Middle East, as it is a key technology to materialise energy transition.

“In line with our basic environment policy that aims to make the Sumitomo Corporation Group carbon neutral by 2050, we would like to pursue this business with our partner to achieve our common goal.”

According to the Japanese group, SNOC’s mature gas field could be used as a competitive carbon sink for sequestration.

Owing to its vast storage capacity of several hundred million tons of CO2 and an advantageous location close to multiple large-scale CO2 sources, such as power plants and industrial facilities, the gas field holds significant potential for carbon storage, said Sumitomo.

After signing the MOU, Sumitomo will collaborate with SNOC in conducting a joint feasibility study. The study aims to evaluate the viability of the CCS project and will encompass a techno-economic analysis, including the assessment of the suitability of Japanese technologies related to carbon capture, transport, and storage.

Additionally, the study will identify potential business models and evaluate the regulatory frameworks relevant to the project.

SNOC CEO Hatem Al Mosa said: “As part of the joint feasibility study we will collaborate with industry leaders, environmental organisations and regulators with the aim of developing a viable project which adheres to the highest standards.

“SNOC has committed to reach net zero on its own operations by 2032 and CCS has the potential to support this goal and beyond.”