Australia-Japan News | October 2022

Australia-Japan News | October 2022

This page collates links to interesting articles that provide a picture of what is happening in Japan and in the Australia-Japan relationship, with brief summaries of their content.

While we don’t claim this list to be comprehensive, and some of the articles may be behind paywalls, we hope it will evolve into a valuable resource that assists members and subscribers in keeping up to date and provides a record of key developments… make sure to check back regularly to see the latest.

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* indicates the article is behind a paywall.

October 2022
Cement Australia and Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Company Begin Joint Study on the Production of Green Methanol using Green Hydrogen and CO2

Cement Australia (CA) and Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Company (MGC) have signed a memorandum of understanding to study the manufacture and sale of green methanol made from CO2 captured at CA’s Gladstone plant and green hydrogen using MGC’s newly developed green methanol production technology. CA and MGC envision selling the green methanol from this project to a wide range of consumers who demand environmentally friendly chemical products. The project is aimed to accelerate the transition to a net-zero society through the deployment of carbon capture and utilisation (CCU). Read more >

Idemitsu invests in Vecco Group to promote a vanadium project in Australia

Japanese petroleum refiner Idemitsu Kosan announced that it has made investment in Vecco Group through Idemitsu Minerals Australia. Vecco Group (Head Office: Brisbane) is developing a vanadium mine project near Julia Creek in QLD, which will produce electrolytes for redox flow batteries. Idemitsu aims to build a value chain for local production and consumption through this project. Large redox flow batteries using vanadium are expected to play an important role in the development of power storage facilities under an energy plan recently announced by the QLD government. Read more >

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Signs Statement of Cooperation with the State Government of South Australia on Development of Local Hydrogen Industry

On 10 October Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) signed a Statement of Cooperation with the State Government of South Australia aiming to accelerate the development of SA’s hydrogen economy and its transition to clean energy. MHI will propose diverse solutions using its groupwide products, technologies and services to help grow a hydrogen export sector and develop hydrogen-related technologies through collaboration, supporting SA’s decarbonation programs. The Statement of Cooperation was signed by SA’s Premier Malinauskas and MHI Senior Vice President Ono in Tokyo. Read more >

Tokyo Gas to sell stakes in 4 Australian LNG projects to U.S. fund*

Tokyo Gas announced that it has entered into an agreement to sell its stakes in four Australian LNG projects (five subsidiaries of Tokyo Gas Australia) to MidOcean Energy Holdings, a unit of U.S. fund EIG. Tokyo Gas has been involved in five Australian LNG projects since 2003 and four of those projects, excluding the Darwin LNG project, will be transferred to MidOcean. The sale includes Tokyo Gas’s 5% stake in Woodside’s Pluto LNG project. *The AFR reported that Woodside has signalled it will consider using its pre-emption rights against this move. Tokyo Gas said the proceeds from the sell-off will be allocated to growth areas and the transfer has no impact on its LNG procurement. *Read more >

Asahi Beverages partners with StrangeLove to shake up Aussie premium adult soft drink market

Asahi Beverages announced on 4 October that it has acquired premium adult soft drinks and mixers beverages company StrangeLove, which was founded in Byron Bay in 2013 (now based in Melbourne). StrangeLove has been growing fast and its revenue has doubled in the past two years. Asahi intends to strengthen its offer in the premium non-alcoholic beverages category. Adult soft drinks and premium mixers are driving growth in Australia’s $2.8 billion soft drink market (groceries & convenience). Asahi’s CEO Iervasi forecasts the premiumisation trend will continue. Read more >

Luxury Japanese hotel Prince Akatoki coming to Sydney and Melbourne*

The Australian Financial Review reported that hotel management company Staywell Hospitality, which was acquired by Prince Hotels, a subsidiary of Seibu Holdings in 2017, plans to open its first luxury brand Prince Akatoki in Sydney by 2025 and a second in Melbourne by 2026. Staywell president Wan said “Japan is one of the largest investors in Australia, but there are no Japanese-branded hotels in Australia.” Seibu Holdings aims to expand its global hotel portfolio from 84 locations to 250 over the next decade. *Read more >

Idemitsu participates in a vanadium exploration project in Australia

Japanese petroleum refiner Idemitsu Kosan acquired 32% of the IPO shares of Critical Minerals Group (CMG) through Idemitsu Minerals Australia, which was established by Idemitsu Australia to promote critical minerals businesses. Idemitsu will participate in CMG’s Lindfield vanadium project in Queensland’s Julia Creek. Both parties will jointly explore the feasibility of commercialisation of vanadium production for battery power storage technologies (vanadium redox flow batteries). With its 32% investment, Idemitsu has become CMG’s largest shareholder*. Read more >