Visit to Tomakomai Project


By Tim Dixon

11 October 2016

 During the CSLF week of meetings in Tokyo, the Japanese hosts RITE and JCCS Company arranged for a day visit to the Tomakomai project on the northern island of Hokkaido. This project is capturing CO2 from a gas stream from the hydrogen production unit at the Tomakomai refinery using a unique two-stage pressure swing absorption system, and injection of the CO2 into one of the two deep saline formations selected started in April 2016. The intention is to capture and inject 100kt CO2 per year. The two injection wells are onshore, and deviate to inject offshore, with well lengths of 3.6km and 5.8km. There is an intensive monitoring strategy, with observation wells, ocean bottom seismometers, an ocean bottom cable for natural seismicity and microseismicity measurements, and environmental monitoring at the seabed and water column (much of which has been shared at IEAGHG Network meetings – with good international cross-fertilisation of ideas). This is all done in a busy offshore environment, with an offshore oil terminal for the refinery close by to the injection site. Injection will continue to 2018 and monitoring for a further two years. There is a good public engagement campaign which involves the local fishing industry and also monitoring data being shared in real-time at the City Hall.

We look forward to learning a lot from this project, particularly in terms of the detailed monitoring and regulatory aspects. We are very pleased that METI will be giving a talk on the Tomakomai project as one of the technical plenary talks in GHGT-13, and Japan CCS Company will be showing more about Tomakomai in their booth at GHGT-13.

Congratulations to JCCS Co Ltd, and METI, RITE and other partner organisations in achieving successful construction and commencing operation of this demonstration project, and thank you for the visit.

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