US-Japan Energy Giants Eye E-Fuels Collaboration

Last updated: November 19, 2023

Houston’s HIF Global and Japan’s Eneos Holdings are considering a partnership to produce and distribute e-fuels, marking HIF’s second venture into the Japanese market.

ENEOS company logo
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E-fuels, like e-gasoline, are seen as a low-carbon alternative for internal combustion cars and other hard-to-decarbonize industries, including aviation.

HIF plans to supply Eneos with carbon-neutral e-fuels from the US, Chile, and Australia.

The companies are yet to sign a contract, but HIF’s Executive Director Meg Gentle confirmed that the discussions revolve around HIF-produced e-gasoline for distribution in Japan.

The potential business partnership also considers using HIF’s e-methanol as marine fuel in Japan. Eneos could further process this e-fuel at its Japanese refinery to produce e-gasoline and carbon-neutral aviation fuel.

While the global market is shifting towards electric vehicles, gasoline-powered vehicles will remain on the roads for decades. This necessitates alternative solutions for carbon-neutral transport.

“We need a way to decarbonise existing engines to have any chance of reaching net zero,” Gentle said.

Critics argue that e-fuels, made from captured CO2 emissions and hydrogen from renewable energy sources, are costly and energy-intensive.

However, the CO2 released when burning synthetic fuel can equal the CO2 captured during production, making it carbon-neutral.

Earlier this year, HIF signed a similar agreement with Idemitsu Kosan. These agreements align with Tokyo’s policy support for e-fuels and its goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

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