ENEOS eyes collaboration with PETRONAS Group on hydrogen business

© Kyodo News

Japanese oil wholesaler ENEOS Corp. is looking at pursuing a collaboration with the PETRONAS Group over its carbon dioxide-free hydrogen business, its second partnership in the clean energy in Malaysia following similar research agreed last year in Sarawak State.

ENEOS has concluded a memorandum of understanding with PETRONAS GAS & New Energy Sdn Bhd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Malaysia's state-run Petroliam National Berhad known as PETRONAS, to conduct collaborative studies and research toward the development of a CO2-free hydrogen supply chain, the Tokyo-based company said Friday.

The two companies will jointly study the establishment of a supply chain of hydrogen production in Malaysia, its transportation to ENEOS refineries in Japan and supply to nearby end-users. The study period will be one year, with the timing of commercialization yet to be determined, an ENEOS official told NNA.

Specifically, they will look into producing hydrogen at PETRONAS petrochemical plants, converting it into methylcyclohexane (MCH), an organic hydride as a form of efficient hydrogen storage and transport, shipping MCH to ENEOS refineries in Japan and reconverting MCH back to hydrogen to supply it to power and steel plants as well as for fuel-cell vehicles, ENEOS said.

In the study, they plan to use co-product hydrogen at PETRONAS petrochemical plants, which are expected to serve as a highly stable and feasible supply source of hydrogen with their high potential in the production of co-product hydrogen, according to ENEOS.

In addition, green hydrogen derived from renewable energy and blue hydrogen produced from fossil fuels with net zero CO2 emissions by capturing and storing CO2 will also be considered, the company said.

The two companies will also explore other hydrogen production projects opportunities outside of Malaysia, it said.

For the study, ENEOS said it will use government support, including the Green Innovation Fund in Japan. Relevant investment amount is undisclosed, the official said.

Toward the realization of a large-scale and stable supply of cost-competitive hydrogen, ENEOS has strived to develop a CO2-free hydrogen supply chain with local partners in Australia, Middle East and Asia.

In October last year, ENEOS concluded a memorandum of understanding with Japanese trading house Sumitomo Corp. and a Sarawak Economic Development Corp. subsidiary to begin joint studies and research on CO2-free hydrogen production in Sarawak State in Borneo. (NNA/Kyodo)