Mitsui E&P Australia (MEPAU) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mitsui & Co. Ltd. (headquartered in Japan). Founded in 2004, MEPAU has extended its portfolio across the continent from east to west and from unconventional to conventional oil and gas assets. In 2018 Mitsui & Co. acquired the AWE group of companies, bringing their Mid West energy projects under the MEPAU umbrella. MEPAU’s headquarters are located in Perth, Western Australia and has interests in approximately 30 projects that are in various stages of exploration or development across Australia.
MEPAU’s interests in carbon and carbon projects stems from two main drivers: (i) to provide an avenue for offsetting its own emissions to meet State Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Commonwealth Safeguard Mechanisms and (ii) help parent company Mitsui & Co. to meet Japan’s 2050 Net Zero pledge. In addition, providing business growth opportunities aligned to MEPAU’s long-term land tenures for exploration and extractive industries is an additional driver.
MAG worked with the organisation to better understand the nuance and history of the Australian carbon market and the procurement opportunities available, matching these to the ambition and risk profile of the organisation. Drawing on MAG’s expertise and network, in 2021 MEPAU established a Carbon Solutions Business team and acquired Outback Carbon, a carbon project developer business. With abundant land availability for carbon farming coupled with well-established Australian Carbon Credit Unit (ACCU) regulations, Australia offers good opportunities for nature-based carbon offset business. Outback Carbon has a well-founded history in Western Australia, established in 2006 the business comes with extensive experience working with landowners on carbon projects across the Rangelands and Mid-West, and have a reputation as a trusted partner for landowners in developing carbon farming projects.
Since the acquisition, there is a clear synergy between MEPAU’s carbon solutions interests and the Outback Carbon business approach.