Japan, China to join in $300m CO2 project

Japan and China will cooperate in a $300-million project to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from a thermal power plant, a Japanese daily reported on Saturday.

Under the plan of the project, emitted carbon dioxide from a thermal power plant will be injected into a major Chinese oil field to extract more crude oil, the Nikkei business daily said.

The project, set to start next year, will involve investments from Japanese companies such as Toyota and plant engineering firm JGC, Nikkei said.

From China, entities such as China National Petroleum and major power generator China Huadian are expected to take part in the project.

The cost is estimated to total about ¥20 to ¥30-billion ($190-million to $285-million), but details on how the costs will be shared have yet to be determined, the daily said.

The two countries are expected to sign an accord on the project next week when Chinese President Hu Jintao visits Japan. Hu’s five-day trip from Tuesday will be his longest state visit to any one country since he became president in 2003.

Nikkei said carbon dioxide from a coal-fired power plant in Harbin, the capital of Heilongjiang province in north-east China, will be transported to Daqing oil field, located about 100km west of the plant.

The plant emits more than one million tonnes of CO2 a year. Daqing produces about 40-million tonnes per year of crude oil, the daily said.

CO2 will be used to make crude oil more liquid and easier to extract, resulting in an increase in output in Daqing of about 1,5-million to 2-million tonnes a year, Nikkei said.

CO2 emissions from coal-fired power plants into the atmosphere can be reduced to essentially zero by using the technology, Nikkei said.

Kyodo news agency, quoting government sources, reported on Friday that the two countries will agree to strengthen ties in global warming in developing advanced environmental technology.

Kyodo said China will take notice of Japan’s proposal for the world to halve greenhouse gases by 2050 and the world’s number two emitter was studying measures to help Japan achieve the goal.

Japan, the world’s fifth largest emitter, is set to host the Group of Eight summit in July.

Climate change is expected to be at the top of the summit agenda, with countries across the world working on a new framework to cut global carbon emission beyond the 2012 expiry of the Kyoto Protocol.

Japan is promoting the concept of sectoral emission targets for industry, but Europe and some developing nations have questioned the concept. – Reuters

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