Emirates News Agency – UAE and Japan boost economic, energy and industrial cooperation to generate low-carbon growth opportunities

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ABU DHABI, 7th June, 2022 (WAM) — The Minister of Industry and Advanced Technologies and Special Envoy for Climate Change, Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, has held a series of high-level meetings with senior government officials and business leaders, to strengthen economic, energy and industrial cooperation between the UAE and Japan and generate low-carbon growth opportunities.

The meetings also focused on the UAE’s preparations to host COP28 (28th meeting of the Conference of the Parties) in 2023 and new opportunities for strategic cooperation between the UAE and Japan.

During the three-day working visit to Japan, Dr. Al Jaber met with senior Japanese government officials, including Hagiuda Koichi, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry; Tsuyoshi Yamaguchi, Minister of the Environment; and Odawara Kiyoshi, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.

Dr Al Jaber also met former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe; Hirokazu Matsuno, Chief Cabinet Secretary; Kihara Seiji, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary and Special Advisor to the Japanese Prime Minister; Taro Kono, Director, Public Affairs of the Liberal Democratic Party; Nishimura Yasutoshi, member of the Japanese House of Representatives; and Tadashi Maeda, Governor of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC).

During the meetings, Dr. Al Jaber conveyed the greetings of the leaders of the United Arab Emirates to the government and people of Japan. He reinforced the UAE’s commitment to Japan’s energy security and said the UAE will continue to ensure a reliable supply of crude oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Japan. The United Arab Emirates is Japan’s largest supplier of crude oil, supplying more than 20% of its crude oil needs.

Dr Al Jaber’s meetings covered a range of different topics, including the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Initiative (CSPI) between the UAE and Japan which was announced in 2018 during the former Prime Minister’s visit Japanese Shinzo Abe in the United Arab Emirates. The CSPI aims to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries and enable greater strategic cooperation in all areas of mutual interest.

Dr Al Jaber said: “Today, Japan is one of the largest and most important energy and trade partners of the UAE. As directed by the wise leadership of the UAE, we wish to strengthen bilateral relations and further strengthen our relationship across multiple sectors, through public and private partnerships that will provide opportunities for mutually beneficial growth and create increased prosperity for our two peoples.

“The relationship between the UAE and Japan is built on long-standing energy partnerships, and we are very pleased to work closely with Japan to take advantage of the economic opportunities of the energy transition, strengthen industrial cooperation and expand economic and commercial relations”.

The meetings build on the solid foundation of 50 years of close economic and diplomatic cooperation between the UAE and Japan. Al Jaber stressed the UAE leadership’s desire to strengthen relations with Japan.

Economic and industrial development, energy supply, hydrogen, climate action were among the key topics of Dr. Al Jaber’s discussions. He reviewed ongoing joint initiatives between the UAE and Japan in the area of ​​low-carbon hydrogen and blue ammonia and highlighted the ambition of the UAE and Japan to exploit new commercially feasible technologies to reduce carbon emissions.

Dr. Al Jaber also met with Japanese business leaders, including Takayuki Ueda, Representative Director, President and CEO, INPEX Corporation; Masayuki Hyodo, Director, President and CEO, Sumitomo Corporation; Satoshi Onoda, President, JERA Co., Inc; Kenichi Hori, Representative Director, President and CEO, Mitsui & Co; Shunichi Kito, Representative Director, President and CEO, Idemitsu Kosan Co.; Hiroshi Kiriyama, Representative Director, GCEO, Cosmo Energy Holdings Co; Takeshi Saito, Managing Director, Chairman, ENEOS Holdings; Takehiko Kakiuchi, Chairman of the Board, Mitsubishi Corporation; Masahiro Okafuji, Chairman and CEO, Itochu Corporation and Masumi Kakinoki, Chairman and CEO, Marubeni Corporation.

During the visit, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), ENEOS Corporation and Mitsui & Co., Ltd. (Mitsui) have signed an agreement to explore the establishment of a hydrogen supply chain between the United Arab Emirates and Japan. The agreement will assess the potential for converting hydrogen produced as a by-product of ADNOC’s refining and petrochemical operations and blue hydrogen produced from natural gas (hydrogen produced from captured CO2 and stored in the production process) into methylcyclohexane (MCH), an efficient form of hydrogen transport, for export to Japan.

Additionally, Mitsui has signed a partnership agreement with Abu Dhabi Chemicals Derivatives Company RSC Ltd (TA’ZIZ), Fertiglobe and GS Energy in the global low carbon blue ammonia production facility in the TA’ZIZ industrial chemicals area in Ruwais, Abu Dhabi. The initial deal was announced in November 2021 and the project will accelerate Abu Dhabi’s position as a leader in low-carbon fuels, capitalizing on demand for blue ammonia as a carrier fuel for clean hydrogen.

The low-carbon blue ammonia project is expected to begin production in 2025, with a production capacity of approximately 1 million tonnes per year of blue ammonia. The TA’ZIZ Industrial Chemical Zone is a joint venture between ADNOC and ADQ.

Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) has also signed a memorandum of understanding with Sumitomo Corporation to develop waste-to-energy projects. This partnership aims to open up prospects for cooperation between the two companies on various projects, including a facility to process 390,000 tonnes of waste per year and generate 25 megawatts of energy.

The UAE and Japan have strong bilateral trade relations. In 2021, the United Arab Emirates was Japan’s 10th largest trading partner in the world. Bilateral trade between the two countries topped $30 billion in 2021, with UAE exports to Japan reaching $26 billion and imports from Japan reaching $6.2 billion. More than 340 Japanese companies are based in the United Arab Emirates and operate in various sectors, including infrastructure, industry and energy.

The last 12 months have seen further economic cooperation between the UAE and Japan, with the signing of an agreement between ADNOC and three Japanese companies, INPEX Corporation, JERA Co. Inc and Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation to explore the commercial potential of blue ammonia production in the UAE. The two countries have also agreed to cooperate on ammonia and carbon recycling technologies following a memorandum of cooperation between ADNOC and Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in January 2021.

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