Oil major BP and Chubu Electric Power said on Feb. 3 they would study the feasibility of a carbon capture and storage (CCS) project to help reduce CO2 emissions in the Nagoya Port area in central Japan.

Under a memorandum of understanding signed a day earlier, the companies would form a broad alliance in decarbonization businesses in Japan and other key markets in Asia, they said in a joint statement.

In the first step, they will explore the feasibility of collecting CO2 from major emitters in Nagoya and transporting it to storage sites, potentially internationally, they said.

Nagoya is Japan's biggest port in terms of cargo volume and located near steel, automotive and other manufacturing plants. Industries around the port account for 3% of Japan's total emissions, and the port aims to cut the area's emissions by 35% by 2030 compared to 2013 levels.

The total investment of the Nagoya port project could reach several hundreds of billions of yen (several billion dollars), according to Hiroki Sato, Chubu's senior managing executive officer.

"We aim to make a final investment decision on the project by around 2026 and start operation in 2030," he said.

In January, Japan's industry ministry set a target of annual CO2 storage capacity of 6 million to 12 million tonnes by 2030 under a long-term roadmap for CCS.

Japan sees CCS technology - which removes CO2 emissions from the atmosphere and stores them underground - as essential to achieving its goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.

Japan's top steelmaker Nippon Steel Corp, trading house Mitsubishi Corp and Exxon Mobil Corp also said last month they will jointly study CCS and the establishment of CCS value chains in the Asia Pacific regions.