Japanese petroleum company Idemitsu Kosan and Japanese engineering firm IHI Corporation are to jointly study setting up an ammonia fuel supply chain.
The partners will look at using existing facilities at Idemitsu Kosan’s Tokuyama petrochemical complex, including storage and petrochemical facilities, to make the site into an ammonia import base. They also plan to demonstrate ammonia co-firing in its new naphtha cracker furnace, and will investigate importing blue and green ammonia for supply to other facilities.
As well as using the Tokuyama complex for ammonia supply chain demonstrations, Idemitsu Kosan plans to obtain domestic licences for ammonia. IHI plans to study ammonia storage equipment, shipment equipment, and ammonia combustion demonstrations.
In May 2021, Idemitsu Kosan announced plans to be carbon neutral by 2050, following various carbon reduction schemes. The crude oil refinery at Tokuyama shut down in 2014 and the site now produces petrochemical raw materials. In January 2021, the company began operating a high-efficiency naphtha cracking furnace that reduces energy consumption by 30% compared to a conventional one. It is also building a biomass power plant which should start up in 2022. The company plans to turn the complex into a carbon neutral transport centre.
IHI, meanwhile, has been studying the development of ammonia technology since 2014, co-firing it with oil and natural gas. It has achieved 70% co-firing of liquid ammonia in a 2,000 kW gas turbine.
‘Utilising the strengths of both companies, we will contribute to the achievement of a carbon-neutral society by quickly realising a globally advanced ammonia supply chain,’ the companies say in a statement.