• Japanese firms lining up blue ammonia supplies from North America

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      Patrick Lavery

      Combustion Industry News Editor

Argus Media has reported that Japanese trading house Itochu will collaborate with Petronas Energy Canada and a Canadian infrastructure company to produce ammonia for export to Japan. A 1 million tonne/year plant is to begin construction next year, using natural gas from Petronas’ fields in Alberta as a feedstock, and capturing carbon dioxide during the manufacturing process, making the product ‘blue’ ammonia. Interestingly, storage of captured carbon seems likely to be outsourced to an existing storage site, perhaps one currently run by Shell, although the option remains to utilise the CO2.

Itochu is also working on a feasibility study for a similar blue ammonia production plant in Russia, in conjunction with Irkutsk Oil, and Mitsui and CF Industries are exploring the possibility of developing blue ammonia projects in the USA. The various pieces of news all point to Japan wishing to pioneer the use of ammonia as a fuel, with the country targeting a 1% share of hydrogen and ammonia in its energy mix by 2030.