Japan receives the first shipment of low-emission ammonia from Saudi Arabia

AMMAN — Japan on Friday received its first shipment of low-emissions ammonia from Saudi Arabia that it plans to use in co-burning alongside fossil fuels with the aim of reducing carbon emissions, according to a statement from the four companies involved in the deal.

Energy-poor Japan wants to add hydrogen and ammonia to its energy mix, a move climate activists have criticized as costly and not entirely efficient. Japan agreed with a number of countries to study hydrogen and ammonia supply chains.

The four companies said in the joint statement that the ammonia, which was shipped to Fuji Oil on Friday, was produced by SABIC Agro-Nutrients Company using raw materials (feed) produced by Aramco, and Mitsui OSK Lines delivered the shipment.

The statement did not disclose the quantity or value of the shipment, but said that the ammonia, which is considered low-emission because the amount of carbon dioxide emitted during its production was previously captured and used in refining and processing applications, was transferred to the Sodigura refinery of Fuji Oil for use in co-flaring to generate electricity.

Japan aims to increase its demand for fuel from ammonia to 3 million tons per year by 2030, from almost zero at present.

Jera, Japan’s largest power generation company, has been using ammonia along with co-burning coal in a pilot project at its power plant in central Japan since 2021.

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