Mitsubishi Corp. has agreed with Exxon Mobil Corp. and Japan's biggest steelmaker Nippon Steel Corp. to consider a carbon capture and storage (CCS) project, a spokesperson at the trading house said on Jan. 25.

The three companies signed a memorandum of understanding on Jan. 25 to start discussions toward building value chains for overseas underground storage of CO2 emitted by Japanese steel plants, the spokesperson said.

Nippon Steel is considering capturing CO2 emissions from its local steel mills for underground storage at facilities linked to Exxon in countries including Australia, Malaysia and Indonesia, the Nikkei business daily reported on Jan. 25.

Mitsubishi would handle transportation, such as by shipping liquefied CO2 to depleted gas fields and other storage sites using specialised vessels, the Nikkei said.

"What has been reported is correct," the Mitsubishi spokesperson said, but declined to comment further.

Cutting carbon emissions from steelmaking, which accounts for about 7% to 9% of global CO2 emissions, is a key effort in the fight against climate change.

A spokesperson for Nippon Steel confirmed that it was considering the project with the two companies, but declined to elaborate.

Exxon was not immediately available for comment.