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Activity Reports by Materiality

Stable Supply of Resources & Materials

Mitsui & Co.'s Approach

We work with suppliers, users, and business partners in Japan and overseas to engage in resource development, production, product distribution, processing, and recycling initiatives in various parts of the world. We also strive to build optimized supply chains through the improvement of infrastructure and logistics, including the development of railroad transportation and port facilities. At the same time, we work to identify sustainability priorities and achieve comprehensive improvements and solutions across the supply chain as a whole.

Strategic Focus

  • Related Product Segment: Energy

Participating in a pilot project to transport and store hydrogen in bulk, contributing to a stable supply of energy

With a view toward the diversification of energy sources and reduction of CO2 emissions, efforts to realize a “hydrogen society” are currently being actively pursued. Combustion of hydrogen has the advantage of not producing any CO2 emissions. Consequently, the scale of the hydrogen infrastructure market is expected to reach 40 trillion yen worldwide by 2030. At the same time, however, in order to realize a commercial hydrogen energy utilization system on the large scale such as hydrogen power generation, establishing a suitable supply chain that includes production, storage, and transport of hydrogen from unused resources abroad to Japan represents a major challenge.

Mitsui & Co., in collaboration with Chiyoda Corporation, is aiming to establish a hydrogen supply chain using a technology developed by Chiyoda, known as the organic chemical hydride method. This involves hydrogenation to fix hydrogen to the widely used industrial solvent toluene, thereby producing methylcyclohexane (MCH), which can be handled at ambient temperature and pressure. Storage and transportation occur in MCH form, and at the end point, dehydrogenation is performed to obtain hydrogen and toluene. The toluene that was used to transport hydrogen can be reused repeatedly.

In 2015, a Chiyoda project entitled “Demonstration of the Hydrogen Supply Chain by Organic Chemical Hydride Method Utilizing Unused Energy” was selected as a New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) support program. Mitsui joined this project as a one of research partners led by Chiyoda.

Aiming for the establishment of a large-scale hydrogen supply chain, a demonstration project is planned for 2020 to verify fundamental technologies, once again in collaboration with the same partners. Mitsui intends to continue contributing to the stable supply of energy and the improvement of economic efficiency, to reduce the environmental burden and help bring about the realization of a fully-fledged hydrogen society and low carbon society.

Stable Supply of Resources & Materials Courtesy of Chiyoda Corporation

Estimate of market size of global hydrogen infrastructure

Activities for FY Ended March 2017

Business Area

  •  
    Metals
  •  
    Machinery & Infrastructure
  •  
    Chemicals
  •  
    Energy
  •  
    Lifestyle
  •  
    Innovation & Corporate Development
  •  
    Corporate & Others

Please scroll horizontally to look at table below.

Theme Business Area Business Activities
Resource Development, and the Securing and Stable Supply of Materials and Food
 
Metals
  • Stable supply of materials, such as rails, steel pipes, steel sheets, rebar, etc. required for infrastructure projects around the world
  • Continuation of iron ore project development and securing of a stable supply of iron ore (Australia, Brazil)
  • Participation in the Moatize coal mining project and engagement in development activities (Mozambique)
  • Continuation of copper project development and securing the stable supply of copper (equity-share production: 125,000 tons) (Chile)
  • Implementation of investments that contribute to the development of new applications of copper and the improvement of mining efficiency through a fund established jointly with the Chilean state-owned copper companies Codelco and Corfo; in FY2016, approval was obtained for investments in copper aquaculture fish nets, the recycling of waste tires at mines, and ore grading sensors for selective processing
  • Stable supply of raw materials, such as nickel, cobalt and lithium, for rechargeable batteries for eco-cars, hard metals for automobile manufacturing
 
Machinery & Infrastructure
  • Stable transportation for grain, coal etc. through freight transportation services (Brazil)
  • Efficient transportation for natural resources, oil & gas by stable supply of international ship's space
 
Chemicals
  • Securing of material ingredient sources for fertilizers and selling products by engaging in phosphorus ore deposits development, etc. (Peru)
  • Promotion of fertilizer distribution business (Japan), manufacture and sales of raw materials and products for feed (U.S.), and agrochemicals (U.S., Europe)
  • Global, highly sophisticated hybrid distribution of sulfur
 
Energy
  • Securing a diverse, stable supply of energy resources such as crude oil, petroleum products, and LNG around the world. Upstream oil and gas assets production : 243,000 boe/day (equity-share production in FY2016)
  • Promote the development of LNG projects (Mozambique, U.S., etc.)
  • Promotion of E&P business via affiliated companies (Australia, the Middle East, Asia, Europe, U.S., etc.)
 
Lifestyle
  • Securing a stable supply of food [grain trading volume: 18 million tons/year (FY2015) → 20 million tons (FY2016) ]
  • Promotion of large-scale agriculture through equity investment in Agricola Xingu, etc. (Brazil)
  • Initiatives by MicroBiopharm Japan:
    • Development of key materials for new drugs designed to curb antibiotic resistance (Japan)
    • Development of technology for targeted cancer drugs with reduced side-effects (Japan)
    • Exploration of compounds from natural microbial resources that have potential as new therapeutic drugs for intractable diseases (Japan)
  • Stable supply of wood products from T.M. Baikal (Russia) for the Japanese, Chinese, and Russian markets (approx. 110,000 m3)
  • Maintenance of FSC®/CoC certification (Mitsui's Life Essentials Business Div., Forest Resources Marketing Dept.: FSC® C104107; Mitsui Bussan Woodchip Oceania Pty. Ltd.: FSC® C107463) and PEFC/CoC certification, to promote responsible management and handling of forest resources
  • Maintenance of FSC® CoC certification (by Mitsui Bussan Packaging: FSC® C009939) to ensure that the supply chain of certified paper promotes to sustainable forest resources management
 
Innovation & Corporate Development
  • Increased supply of food resources through providing precision agricultural solutions (Canada, U.S., Brazil, Russia, etc.)
  • Promotion of international transportation services and warehousing business through Mitsui & Co. Global Logistics and other affiliated companies (China, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Dubai, Brazil, etc.)
  • Provision of hedging functions through commodity derivatives business (Japan, U.K., U.S., Singapore)
 
Corporate & Others
  • Continuation of forest management and lumber production in accordance with FSC® certification and SGEC for all Mitsui's Forests (74 locations in Japan, approx. 44,000 ha)
  • Stable supply of ligneous resources through production of round raw timber from Mitsui's Forests, which constitutes about 0.1% of Japan's entire wood consumption in terms of round timber (approx. 62,000 m3 )
  • Supply of round raw timber from Mitsui's Forests as fuel for the wood biomass power generation plant in Tomakomai, which commenced electricity sales in February 2017 (cumulative total of approx. 58,000 m3 as of March 2017, representing approx. 47% of total volume)
Promotion of Supply Chain Management
 
Lifestyle
  • At Mitsui Bussan I-Fashion, expansion of the scope of suppliers from whom it obtains written consent to observe its “Supply Chain CSR Policy”, by including vendors with whom it has a transaction history of 3 years or more, in addition to its new suppliers (252 companies for FY2016, and a cumulative total of 5,012)
 
Corporate & Others
  • Implementation of supplier questionnaire surveys concerning our Supply Chain CSR Policy (50 suppliers)
  • Implementation of supplier on-site surveys of food raw materials

Sustainability Report 2017

P.52–60 “Stable Supply of Resources & Materials” (PDF 769KB)

More detailed information can be found in our Sustainability Report.