The Business Times

Sinopec aims for carbon neutrality by 2050

Asia's largest oil refiner is focused on natural gas development in the near term and eyeing a long-term pivot to hydrogen

Published Tue, Mar 30, 2021 · 05:50 AM

Singapore

CHINA'S Sinopec Corp, Asia's largest oil refiner, aims to be carbon neutral by 2050, with its near-term strategy focused on natural gas development and a long-term pivot to hydrogen, top executives said on Monday.

As China's largest hydrogen producer, Sinopec will focus on fossil fuel-based hydrogen production over the next five years and also start introducing "green" hydrogen using solar and wind power, chairman Zhang Yuzhuo said in an earnings call.

Sinopec plans to build 100 hydrogen filling stations this year, part of the firm's goal to set up 1,000 stations by 2025, including standalone hydrogen kiosks and those combined with traditional fuels.

"Hydrogen will be a core in Sinopec's energy transition... We want to become China's No 1 hydrogen firm," said Mr Zhang.

Sinopec will first focus on its existing fossil fuel-based production of hydrogen, which carries the lowest cost since it is a by-product of its refining and petrochemical processing, said Mr Zhang.

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It is also planning to cap its carbon emissions at peak levels prior to a national timeline set by the government for 2030, both through its work to increase hydrogen output and the treatment and capture of carbon dioxide.

With the use of hydrogen as a fuel still in its infancy, China had at the end of 2020 less than 10,000 hydrogen-powered vehicles most of which were on pilot programmes, with total annual hydrogen use at 3,000 tonnes, the second-largest after the US, IHS Markit data showed. REUTERS

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