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Argus Media: Itochu, Lotte Chemical eye NH3 business

27 Jul 2022

Japanese trading house Itochu and South Korean petrochemical producer Lotte Chemical will co-operate on ammonia businesses to secure fuel-use ammonia for Japan and South Korea.

26 July 2022

Itochu signed an agreement on 21 July with Lotte Chemical to collaborate on developing fuel ammonia businesses in their efforts to decarbonise. The companies see Japan and South Korea as two major ammonia importers in the far east Asian region, expecting huge demand for ammonia as a decarbonised fuel in the power and marine sectors.

The companies plan to trade fuel-use ammonia, and they will also study the use of ammonia infrastructures, demand in Japan and South Korea, and joint investment in carbon capture and storage (CCS) to produce blue ammonia. The companies will also explore opportunities in the hydrogen industry, but ammonia is the first priority, Itochu said.

Discussions about infrastructure will start with tanks, pipelines, as well as loading and unloading facilities at main ports in South Korea — such as Busan, Ulsan and Yeosu — which are to be newly built for ammonia supply chains, Itochu added.

Itochu is accelerating its ammonia businesses in Japan and outside the country. It is developing ammonia-fuelled vessels with domestic firms, as well as conducting a study on ammonia bunkering in the country. Japan’s ministry of land, infrastructure, transport and tourism (MLIT) is targeting the commercial launch of an ammonia-fuelled ship as early as possible — before 2028 and possibly even around 2025.

Itochu is also working on building an ammonia supply chain for marine fuel in Singapore with Japanese shipowner Mitsui OSK Lines (Mol), Itochu’s subsidiary Itochu Enex, Netherlands-based oil storage and terminal operator Vopak, Singapore’s Pavilion Energy and Total.

Itochu and Mol already obtained in-principle approval to build an ammonia bunkering vessel, which is part of a wider effort to develop a supply chain.

Itochu is also planning blue ammonia production in Canada from 2027 with CCS technology. It will work on the project with Petronas Energy Canada, the Canadian subsidiary of Malaysian state-owned oil firm Petronas, and an unspecified Canadian infrastructure company. The companies are targeting to start construction of the 1mn t/yr plant in 2024.

By Maiko Nakashima

 

Photo credit and source: Argus Media
Published: 27 July, 2022

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