Mitsui & Co., Mitsui Chemicals, IHI and Kansai Electric Power will conduct a joint study on establishing a hydrogen and ammonia supply chain through the Osaka coastal industrial zone, the companies have said.

The announcement Wednesday comes a day after Eneos and Osaka Gas said they would perform a study on the construction of a large electro-methane (e-methane) facility — based on green hydrogen — and to be located in the Osaka Bay area.

The four companies will study options for receiving, storing and supplying ammonia — which can be used in power generation and other purposes — in the Osaka area to potentially expand its use in the Kansai and nearby Setouchi regions.

Hydrogen and ammonia, which do not emit carbon dioxide when burning, are an important part of Japan's energy security strategy to reduce use of traditional fossil fuels. Mitsui is Japan's biggest ammonia importer.

Separately, Tokyo Gas, Osaka Gas, Toho Gas, Mitsubishi Corp. and Sempra Infrastructure Partners will study e-methane exports to Japan from the United States, they said Wednesday.

That project would comprise a facility producing 130,000 metric tons of e-methane per year in Texas or Louisiana in the U.S., to be liquefied at the nearby Cameron liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal and exported to Japan from 2030.

The capacity of the proposed facility is equivalent to 1% of the annual gas demand of Tokyo Gas, Osaka Gas and Toho Gas, the five companies said in the joint statement, without providing an investment figure.