IHI and Vopak unite for development of ammonia terminals in Japan

Japan’s IHI Corporation and Dutch Royal Vopak have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to jointly explore the development and operation of efficient, high-value-added ammonia terminals in Japan, with a possibility to expand the collaboration to other regions.

Courtesy of IHI Corporation

According to the companies, the collaboration focuses on large-scale ammonia storage terminals, strategically positioned for the economical distribution of ammonia.

Ammonia plays an important role as a fuel for reducing carbon emissions from thermal power generation and as a hydrogen carrier, both in Japan and abroad, the companies said, noting that the study will examine the possibility of streamlining the operation of ammonia terminals to enhance price competitiveness, as well as the conversion and supply of various hydrogen derivatives.

Jun Kobayashi, Board Director, Managing Executive Officer, IHI Corporation, stated: “We are pleased to begin joint discussions with Vopak on the development and operation of ammonia terminals. As demand for ammonia continues to grow, we recognize the need to rationalize terminal operations and strengthen price competitiveness in order to meet this demand. We will leverage the strengths of both companies to form a terminal that can be utilized in the future and to build a robust supply chain.”

Chris Robblee, President of Asia and the Middle East, Vopak, commented: “We are excited to work with IHI and look forward to collaborating together as we advance the commitment of both companies towards a low-carbon future. As we embark on this journey, we envision synergies between both companies that will create innovative solutions to accelerate the development of new supply chains for the energy and feedstocks of the future.”

To note, IHI, a manufacturer of ammonia storage tanks, is said to be currently working toward the realization of a decarbonized society through the development of integrated technologies from upstream to downstream, including fuel ammonia production, storage and utilization. The company is developing technology for large-scale ammonia receiving terminals utilizing the large storage tank technology.

As for Vopak, currently, the company has ammonia storage operations in China, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Malaysia and the U.S. In July 2023, The Hydrogen Utility (H2U), an Australia-based developer of green hydrogen infrastructure, and Vopak Terminals Australia, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Vopak, started a collaboration in relation to H2U’s H2-Hub project, a multi-billion renewable energy complex producing green hydrogen and green ammonia, proposed to be established in Gladstone, Queensland, Australia.