Marubeni unites with Pembina for development of ammonia supply chain

Japan’s Marubeni Corporation has signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with Canada’s Pembina Pipeline Corporation to co-develop a low-carbon ammonia supply chain from Western Canada to Japan and other Asian markets.

Courtesy of Marubeni

The project includes the joint development, on a 50/50 basis, of a global-scale, low-carbon hydrogen and ammonia production facility to be sited on Pembina-owned lands adjacent to its Redwater Fractionation Complex in the Alberta Industrial Heartland near Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, Canada.

Marubeni said that initial feasibility studies have been completed, and the facility is anticipated to have a production capacity of one million tonnes per year of low-carbon ammonia.

It further noted that the facility will utilise innovative technology to capture associated CO2 emissions using CCS/CCU, and the low-carbon ammonia will be transported via rail to Canada’s west coast and then shipped to Japan and other Asian markets.

Under the MoA, Pembina and Marubeni are expected to focus on completing work critical to the development of the project, including preliminary front-end engineering design (pre-FEED), engagement with governments in Canada and Japan and commercial activities. Currently, pre-FEED work is expected to be completed by early 2024, with a potential final investment decision (FID) in the second half of 2025, targeting the commencement of operations in 2028.

Yoshiaki Yokota, CEO, Energy & Infrastructure Solution Group, Marubeni, commented: “We are honoured to be working together as partners in the establishment of a low-carbon fuel supply chain from Canada to Japan. The project will benefit from Canada’s abundant natural gas supply, with the advantage of west coast shipping access to Asia, and a growing carbon capture and sequestration industry. The establishment of a large-scale hydrogen and ammonia supply chain will also importantly support the decarbonisation efforts of both Japan and Canada.”

Stuart Taylor, Pembina’s Senior Vice President & Corporate Development Officer, stated: “The project represents a transformative opportunity that is highly aligned with Pembina’s strategic priorities, including supporting global decarbonisation efforts by exporting low-carbon energy derived from natural gas produced in Western Canada.”

The Marubeni-Pembina MoA follows another Canada-Japan collaboration. This year, an engineering, logistics and energy company ATCO, through its investment in Canadian Utilities Limited, partnered up with Japan’s Kansai Electric Power to develop an integrated clean fuels supply chain between Canada and Japan.

The two companies completed a pre-feasibility study to produce clean hydrogen and its derivatives in Canada, spanning the entire value chain, with the end product arriving in Japan.

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