Santos, Tokyo Gas to explore potential of carbon-neutral e-methane in Australia

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Image credit: Santos, Twitter

Santos is collaborating with Japanese gas utility company Tokyo Gas to explore the potential of producing carbon-neutral e-methane in Australia.

E-methane, produced by combining green hydrogen and CO2 from industrial emissions or Direct Air Capture (DAC), offers customers like Tokyo Gas the same properties and chemistry as natural gas, allowing them to utilise existing gas pipelines, LNG facilities, and gas distribution networks.

E-methane, a carbon-neutral alternative to natural gas, can be utilised in various industrial processes, technologies, and appliances, particularly in power generation, high-temperature heating, and chemical manufacturing, offering low-cost decarbonisation for hard-to-abate sectors where alternative technologies are not yet proven or economically viable.

Santos, through its new energy firm Santos Energy Solutions, will assess the feasibility of producing e-methane for export to Japan, utilising significant existing infrastructure. Tokyo Gas is a gas and power business that serves over 12 million clients. The first e-methane production is scheduled for 2030.

Adertisement

The research will involve a technical review of renewable energy, carbon dioxide, and other feedstock sources, the methanation process (to produce e-methane), cost and schedule estimates, risk assessments, and commercialisation alternatives.

The Cooper Basin, where Santos is trialling DAC technology, has huge renewable resource potential for creating green hydrogen utilising electrolysis technology. Santos is also constructing one of the world’s largest carbon capture and storage projects at Moomba in the Cooper Basin, with the first injection scheduled for 2024.

“E-methane has the potential to be an important carbon-neutral fuel – a direct substitute for natural gas – that avoids the cost associated with new infrastructure and new industrial processes, which for many sectors are not yet technically feasible, affordable or available,” Santos Energy Solutions Executive Vice President Alan Stuart-Grant said.