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Is 'burning ice' the solution to Japan's energy crisis?

17th of April, 2014

By Danielle Demetriou, in Tokyo, 18 Feb 2014

A Japanese company is planning to extract methane hydrate from the seabed with the goal of creating a new domestic energy source for resources-poor Japan.

Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding Co. (MES) hopes to become a pioneer in the field of extracting methane hydrate, also known as “burning ice”, a compound believed to exist in abundance beneath seas around Japan.

The company, which has previously developed offshore oilfields, has set up a new department devoted to tapping into the nation’s underwater energy extraction potential.

It has also designed an underwater robot capable of diving to depths of nearly 23,000 ft to assist the test-mining of mineral ores, with manufacturing discussions reportedly underway with an undisclosed North European company.

Although a timescale has not yet been made public in relation to when they will start the extraction process, Masatoshi Inui, a spokesman at MES, told the Telegraph: “It’s true that the company plans to explore and extract seabed resources, including methane hydrate and rare metals. READ MORE HERE.

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