ITOCHU Announces Collaboration with Taisei Corporation in Initiative with MCi testing uses of concrete from calcium carbonate with mineral carbonation

August 15, 2022

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Keita Ishii, President & COO; hereinafter "ITOCHU") announced today that it has concluded a memorandum of collaboration with Taisei Corporation Company, Ltd. (headquartered in Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo; Yoshiro Aikawa, President; hereinafter "Taisei Corporation") and Australia-based Mineral Carbonation International (headquartered in Canberra, Australia; Marcus Dawe, CEO & Managing Director; hereinafter "MCi"), which possesses mineral carbonation technologies.

MCi is a company that has pursued fifteen years of research and development into mineral carbonation and possesses the technology to produce a range of low carbon embodied materials including calcium carbonate by carbonating minerals in slag and other by-products of the steelmaking process (mainly steelmaking slag), coal ash produced by thermal power plants, and other industrial waste materials containing magnesium or calcium (mine tailings: by-products from the collection of metals and ore).

ITOCHU invested in MCi in July of last year to develop this technology within Japan and thereby cut CO2 emissions. Currently ITOCHU is investigating various uses of the technology as we recognize the importance of utilizing carbonates to spread the technology. We have now agreed to a partnership with Taisei Construction, investigating ways to use carbonates as raw materials for concrete.

Taisei Corporation has been developing their original concrete technology, T-eConcrete® series. One of them, "T-eConcrete/Carbon-Recycle" is the newest technology, which fixates CO2 inside concrete by mixing carbonates with other constituent materials. This greatly contributes to reduce CO2 emissions from concrete production, which is a major construction material.

We are now leveraging the strengths of the three companies by concluding a memorandum to contribute to the building of a zero-carbon society. Investigating and pursuing the possibilities of using MCi carbonates to commercialize T-eConcrete®/Carbon-Recycle through a supply of "carbonates with carbonated minerals using MCi technology" to that T-eConcrete®/Carbon-Recycle.

MCi’s mineral carbonation technology has received high praise from industry and governments in Australia and internationally. In 2021, MCi won a pitch battle at COP26 between 2,700 companies and was named #1 Global Cleantech in Glasgow where Chief Operating Officer Sophia Hamblin Wang delivered the winning pitch. MCi’s technology has already been validated across CO2 sources and industry applications at a pilot-test level, and preparations are being made by the company to construct large-scale demonstration plants in Australia to further scale up this technology.

ITOCHU signed a memorandum in March 2021 with MCi to develop this technology within Japan. ITOCHU then decided to invest in MCi in July 2021 given that this technology could quickly become implementable, and that interest in this technology is extremely high from customers in the iron and steel industry, the electric utility industry, and other sectors. Following this investment, ITOCHU agreed to independently pursue the business development of MCi’s technology for the Japanese market.

ITOCHU is working to ensure stable procurement of slag and other raw materials that react with CO2 as well as select suitable locations for carbonate demonstration plants in Japan, thereby building value chains in accordance with this memorandum. We will seek to match this technology with the demand for reductions in CO2 emissions in Japan, helping to solve the issues CO2 emissions pose to our client companies.

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

■ITOCHU Announces Investment in Australia-Based MCi and Its Mineral Carbonation Technologies (August 25, 2021)
■Taisei Construction's carbon-recycle concrete (T-eConcrete®/ Carbon-Recycle) (Japanese)