Steel company to lead DME consortium

A consortium of eight companies, led by NKK Corp., a steel-maker and engineering firm, will establish DME International Corp., Tokyo, to commercialise and market dimethyl ether (DME) produced by a low-cost, direct synthesis technique, according to NKK, which is a 34%
investor. Toyota Tsusho Corp., a Toyota group trading company and Hitachi Ltd, a
diversified electric equipment maker, will each have a 17% share. Other investors include Marubeni Corp., a trading company, two energy-related firms, Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd and INPEX Corp., Nippon Sanso Corp., an industrial gas supplier, and one non-Japanese company, TotalFinaElf, the world’s fourth largest energy company. DME is a clean energy source that can be manufactured from a wide variety of hydrocarbon materials. It is non-toxic and generates absolutely no sulphur oxides or particulate matter during combustion. DME can be an alternative to diesel fuel and LPG. An NKK survey forecast a market as high as 100 million tons a year in Asia.

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