Idemitsu invests in HIF to develop a supply chain of e-methanol

Japanese refiner Idemitsu is investing in US synthetic fuel (e-fuel) producer HIF Global to develop a supply chain of e-methanol, as part of a strategy to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

Idemitsu said on 13 May that it has agreed to spend $114mn to secure an undisclosed stake in HIF after the US firm issued new shares. HIF is expected to produce around 4mn t/yr of e-methanol equivalent by 2030 at its production sites in Australia, North America and South America.

E-methanol is typically made from green hydrogen and carbon dioxide (CO2). This is used as an alternative bunker fuel and as a feedstock for synthetic fuels, including gasoline, sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and diesel, as well as synthetic chemicals.

Idemitsu is focusing on e-methanol, along with blue ammonia and SAF, as its investment targets to achieve net zero by 2050. The company aims to set up 500,000 t/yr of e-methanol supplies in domestic and overseas markets in 2035 by using its existing oil supply and sales networks. The target includes unspecified volumes from HIF, possible production in the Middle East and domestic output, Idemitsu said.

The deal follows Idemitsu’s initial agreement with HIF in March 2023 to work on production and promotion of e-fuels, along with a decision to buy e-methanol from HIF and jointly study the possible development of the fuel.

Idemitsu also agreed an initial deal with HIF and Japanese shipping firm Mitsui OSK Line to explore opportunities to develop an e-fuel and e-methanol supply chain between Japan and where HIF’s e-fuel and e-methanol production plants are located, including CO2 transportation from Japan to HIF’s production sites.

Tags: HIF, Idemitsu, Supply Chain
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