ITOCHU, HIF, JFE Steel, and MOL Sign MoU on Establishing Supply Chain for Synthetic Fuel and CO₂ Marine Transport Using Green Hydrogen

February 27, 2024

ITOCHU Corporation (ITOCHU; President & COO: Keita Ishii; Head Office: Minato-ku, Tokyo), HIF Asia Pacific Pty Ltd , a wholly owned subsidiary of HIF Global (HIF; President & CEO: Cesar Norton; Head Office: Houston, Texas), JFE Steel Corporation (JFE Steel; President & CEO: Yoshihisa Kitano; Head Office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo), and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL; President & CEO: Takeshi Hashimoto, Head Office: Minato-ku, Tokyo) today announced an agreement to jointly conduct a wide-ranging feasibility study covering on (1) carbon dioxide (CO2) capture in Japan, (2) shipping the CO2 to Australia, (3) production and storage of synthetic fuel (e-fuel) derived from the CO2 in Australia, and (4) establishment of a comprehensive supply chain, including export of e-fuel from Australia.

Conceptual diagram of e-fuel production and supply chain

Role of each company

Company Name Business Role
ITOCHU Trading Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)*1, economic evaluation, etc.
HIF e-fuel business Selection of e-fuel production area, e-fuel production cost estimation, etc.
JFE Steel Iron manufacturing CO2 separation/capture, liquefaction, and offloading cost estimation, etc.
MOL Ocean shipping CO2 and e-fuel transport cost estimation, study of marine transport, etc.

The term “e-fuel” refers to liquid fuel produced by synthesizing hydrogen produced from renewable energy sources and CO2. The CO2 feedstock will be CO2 emitted from industries that will have difficulty achieving decarbonization through electrification, hydrogenation, and other means alone. A benefit of e-fuel is that it can use current infrastructure such as vessels, lorries, storage tanks, and fueling stations for transport and storage. In addition, e-fuel itself can be used to power automobiles, aircraft, and vessels without the need to modify or replace current equipment, so its use is expected to be an early decarbonization measure.

Leveraging their networks in Japan and overseas and the knowledge they have cultivated through business in Australia, ITOCHU, HIF, JFE Steel, and MOL aim to establish an e-fuel supply chain, starting with a study of its use at JFE Steel, with an eye toward a decarbonized society.

ITOCHU included contributing to the SDGs and strengthening SDG initiatives in the Basic Policies in its medium-term management plan. Through this project, ITOCHU will contribute to the realization of a decarbonized society by building an e-fuel supply chain.

  • *1Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a method for quantitatively evaluating the environmental impact of a product throughout its life cycle (resource extraction, raw material production, product manufacturing, distribution/consumption, and disposal/recycling).

Company Profile

Name HIF Global
Head Office Address Houston, Texas
Year Established 2022
Representative Cesar Norton, President & CEO
Business Outline HIF Global is the world’s leading eFuels company, developing projects to convert hydrogen using low cost renewable power into carbon neutral liquid eFuels that can be transported and utilized in existing infrastructure. The name HIF represents the mission of the company: to provide Highly Innovative Fuels to make decarbonization of the planet possible. HIF Latam, HIF USA, HIF Asia Pacific, and HIF EMEA are wholly owned subsidiaries of HIF Global. HIF Global is already producing eFuels in its Haru Oni Facility in Magallanes, Chile and intends to begin construction of the commercial scale HIF Matagorda eFuels Facility in Texas in 2024. HIF Global’s first Australian development, in Tasmania, was announced in July 2022.