Tokyo (Reuters) – Japan received its first low-carbon ammonia cargo from Saudi Arabia on Friday which it plans to use for co-firing with fossil fuels to reduce carbon emissions, a joint statement from the four companies involved in the deal said.
Energy-poor Japan wants to add hydrogen and ammonia to its energy mix, a move criticized by climate activists as costly and not fully effective. Japan has agreed with a number of countries to study hydrogen and ammonia supply chains.
Ammonia shipped to Fuji Oil Company (FOC) on Friday was produced by SABIC Agri-Nutrients using feedstock from Aramco and the cargo was delivered by Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, the four companies said in the joint statement.
The statement did not disclose the amount or value of the cargo but said that ammonia – considered low-carbon as CO2 from the associated manufacturing process was captured and utilized – was transported to FOC’s Sodegaura refinery for use in co-fired power generation.
Japan aims to boost its fuel ammonia demand to 3 million tonnes annually by 2030 from nearly zero at present. Its top power generator JERA has been co-firing ammonia with coal in a trial project at its power station in central Japan since 2021.