Power giants to study Australia-Japan clean fuel ammonia supply chain

Natural gas storage tanks at facility (ammonia)
Image: Shutterstock

Woodside Energy Ltd., Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation, Marubeni Corporation, Hokuriku Electric Power Company and The Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc have signed a joint research agreement under which they will conduct a feasibility study into the development of a clean fuel ammonia supply chain from Australia to Japan.

Ammonia does not emit CO2 during combustion and is considered a promising next-generation zero-emission fuel for energy intensive thermal power plants and marine engines.

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Given existing proven technologies for the production, storage and transportation of ammonia, it is expected to have early take-up as a zero-emission fuel.

Japan’s Green Growth Strategy established on December 26, 2020, and further refined on June 21, 2021, has also positioned fuel ammonia as one of the key opportunities for Japan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

In relation to Australia, the “Japan-Australia Partnership on Decarbonization through Technology” including fuel ammonia was announced at the Japan-Australia Summit Meeting on June 13, 2021, and the Joint Statement at the Australia-Japan Ministerial Economic Dialogue on July 15, 2021, mentioned that Japan and Australia would work together to promote clean fuel ammonia.

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Under the joint agreement, the parties will conduct a feasibility study of the entire supply chain, including the production of clean fuel ammonia in Australia from natural gas with CO2 abatement methods such as CCS, CCU and bio-sequestration; marine transportation to Japan; utilisation of ammonia as a fuel for power generation and marine use; and financing.

The parties will work to establish a clean fuel ammonia supply chain between Australia and Japan through collaboration using their respective technologies and knowledge, and will promote efforts to decarbonise both Australia and Japan.