ITOCHU Announces Investment in Australia-Based MCi and Its Mineral Carbonation Technologies

August 25, 2021

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Keita Ishii, President & COO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) announced today that it has made an investment in Australia-based Mineral Carbonation International (headquartered in Canberra, Australia; Marcus Dawe, CEO & Managing Director; hereinafter "MCi"), which possesses mineral carbonation technologies.

MCi has pursued research and development into mineral carbonation technologies and possesses the technology to produce calcium carbonate by having CO2 react with by-products of the steelmaking process (slag), coal ash produced by thermal power plants, and other industrial waste materials containing magnesium or calcium (such as waste concrete). This technology has attracted widespread attention from the industrial world as a technology that could accelerate the global trend towards decarbonization by both permanently lock awayCO2 in a solid form and creating useful products. MCi received a grant of 14.6 million AUD (approx. 1.2 billion JPY) from the Australian government in June for further research and development of this technology, implying that interest and expectations for this technology are increasing within Australia. MCi is currently preparing to construct demonstration plants within Australia, aiming to further expand the scale of this technology which has already completed its pilot demonstration.

ITOCHU signed a MOU in March with MCi to develop this technology within Japan. ITOCHU then decided to invest in MCi, given that this technology could quickly be made practical and that interest in this technology is extremely high from customers in the iron and steel industry, the electric utility industry, and other client industries. Following this investment, ITOCHU will exclusively pursue development and promotion of this technology for the Japanese market.

ITOCHU will continue to utilize its network in Japan while introducing and selecting candidate sites for MCi demonstration plants in Japan. ITOCHU will also work to develop an application and market for the calcium carbonate produced by this technology and cement, concrete, and other products made using these. ITOCHU will seek to match this technology with the demand for reductions in CO2 emissions in Japan, helping to solve CO2 emissions issues faced by client companies.

For Reference: ITOCHU Announces Collaboration with Australia-Based MCi on the Utilization of Mineral Carbonation Technologies, May 6, 2021