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Asahi Kasei, Mitsui Chemicals and Mitsubishi Chemical enter joint feasibility study for decarbonization of ethylene production

| By Mary Bailey

Asahi Kasei Corp. (Tokyo), Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. (Tokyo), and Mitsubishi Chemical Group Corp. (MCG Group; Tokyo) plan to perform a joint feasibility study on feedstock and fuel conversion at the three companies’ ethylene production facilities in western Japan in order to advance carbon neutrality and decarbonization.

Ethylene production is the upstream starting point of the petrochemical industry. Basic chemicals derived from ethylene are made into materials that are used in the manufacture of various products such as daily necessities, automobiles, and semiconductors. As such, ethylene production serves as an important foundation that supports people’s lives. However, a large amount of petroleum-derived feedstock and fuel is consumed in the production process. The reduction of GHG emissions from ethylene production is thus a serious issue.

In order to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 in accordance with the target set forth by the Japanese government, Asahi Kasei, Mitsui Chemicals, and Mitsubishi Chemical have each adopted policies to become carbon-neutral by 2050 by reducing GHG emission targets to effectively zero, and each is advancing measures to reduce energy consumption and apply technological development for low-carbon feedstock and fuel.

However, if initiatives are taken by each company individually, the speed of implementation and efficiency of GHG reduction are limited. This makes it increasingly necessary for multiple petrochemical manufacturers located nearby to cooperate with one another through mutual provision of technology and joint implementation of measures that contribute to carbon neutrality.

Through coordination across different districts among the three companies having sites in western Japan, the joint feasibility study is expected to raise the speed and efficiency of the transition to carbon neutrality of the companies’ ethylene production facilities and each company’s petrochemical products.

Moving forward, the three companies will study concrete measures that contribute to the transition to carbon neutrality such as replacing petroleum-derived resources with biomass feedstock, conversion to low-carbon fuel, etc., while also studying optimal future production arrangements.