Japanese firms looking into hydrogen and ammonia supply chain in Osaka

Japanese companies Mitsui & Co., Mitsui Chemicals, IHI Corporation and The Kansai Electric Power Co. have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to execute a joint study to establish a hydrogen and ammonia supply chain based in the Osaka coastal industrial zone.

Mitsui Chemical's plant in Osaka; Illustration. Courtesy of Mitsui Chemicals

Under the MoU, the four companies will study the development of bases for receiving, storing and supplying ammonia in the Osaka coastal industrial zone. Additionally, surveys will be conducted to expand the use of ammonia in the Kansai and Setouchi regions.

The partners said that discussions have already begun with Kobe Steel, Ltd., which is a potential candidate that could benefit from the utilization of ammonia as it has announced a commitment to achieving carbon neutrality in the electric power business.

Through this initiative, Mitsui, which holds the top share of ammonia imports to Japan, Mitsui Chemicals, which owns chemical plants in the Sakai-Senboku Coastal Industrial Zone of Osaka, IHI, which is building a value chain with its ammonia-related technologies, and Kansai, which operates energy businesses in the Kansai region, will combine their experience and knowledge to contribute to the realization of a zero carbon society.

Last summer, Mitsui entered into a joint study agreement with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and ENEOS to begin evaluating the development of a clean hydrogen supply chain between UAE and Japan.

When it comes to its recent hydrogen-related activities, it is worth noting its joint effort with RWE and Port of Tilbury which aims to result in two hydrogen projects at the port.