Friday, October 7, 2022 - 05:25 pm

Gov. Doug Burgum and Sumitomo Corp. President and CEO Masayuki Hyodo today celebrated the recent signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the State of North Dakota and Sumitomo Corporation of Americas (SCOA), creating a partnership to evaluate and develop businesses within the energy transition market with the intent to accelerate decarbonization in North Dakota and beyond.

On the final day of a weeklong trade mission to Japan, Burgum and fellow members of the North Dakota delegation met with Hyodo and other Sumitomo leaders at the global firm’s headquarters in Tokyo. Also represented was New York City-based SCOA, which has eight offices in major U.S. cities and is the largest subsidiary of Sumitomo Corp.

As he did when he first signed the MOU in September, Burgum noted that North Dakota is a powerhouse in agriculture and energy, with strong sectors in advanced manufacturing and technology as well, all supported by a stable tax and regulatory environment that makes the state ideal for developing new businesses.

“We’re committed to partnering with the private sector to grow and diversify our economy, and SCOA is well-positioned to help North Dakota create the infrastructure necessary to support clean energy initiatives,” Burgum said when the MOU was signed. “This partnership has great potential to enhance our research and development, evaluation and business modeling in this sector, and to accelerate our progress as we continue to develop clean energy sources and move toward carbon neutrality by 2030.”

Under the MOU, both parties will study a wide variety of possibilities including Sustainable Aviation Fuel supply chain development, CCS/CCUS project development, Hydrogen/Ammonia supply chain development, Geothermal utilization, CI (Carbon Intensity) measurement and agriculture optimization, and Digital transformation. The MOU is non-binding and solely for the purpose of facilitating joint collaboration and development of projects within North Dakota.

The MOU proposes an initial period of 10-12 months where the respective parties will set key goals and milestones, identify opportunities, evaluate the market and develop initial strategies based on feasibility studies.

Also participating in the trade and investment mission from North Dakota were state Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring and representatives of the North Dakota Department of Commerce, North Dakota Trade Office, Bank of North Dakota, Governor’s Office, North Dakota State University, the University of North Dakota, and about a dozen North Dakota companies involved in agriculture, energy, manufacturing, technology and aerospace.