New Japanese alliance looking into ammonia supply chain in Hokkaido

IHI Corporation, Hokkaido Electric Power, Hokkaido Mitsui Chemicals, Marubeni Corporation, Mitsui & Co. and Tomakomai Futo have started a joint study for the establishment of an ammonia supply chain based in the Tomakomai area of Hokkaido, Japan.

Courtesy of IHI Corporation

The parties will work on studies related to the establishment of facilities for receiving, storing and supplying ammonia from overseas in the Tomakomai area, as well as surveys aimed at expanding the use of ammonia throughout Northern Japan.

According to IHI, the Tomakomai area has vast land available for the installation of facilities required for the establishment of an ammonia supply chain, such as the possibility of adding storage tanks to meet future demand increases. Moreover, the area has shipping routes accessible to both the Sea of Japan and the Pacific Ocean, enabling the supply of ammonia not only to demand sites close to the Tomakomai area but also to hydrogen demand sites throughout Northern Japan by utilizing domestic vessels and other means.

In the same area, efforts to achieve decarbonization, including surveys related to carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects and the establishment of a hydrogen supply chain, are advancing towards the realization of a zero-carbon city, IHI noted.

In parallel with this joint study, the six companies are discussing the establishment of an ammonia supply chain with Kushiro Power Station, Nippon Beet Sugar Manufacturing and Oenon Holdings, which are potential customers for ammonia utilization.

IHI said that the companies will continue to work towards the realization of projects that can contribute to the decarbonization of the area and economic development, with the cooperation of Hokkaido and Tomakomai City, a combination of both public and private sectors.

Courtesy of IHI Corporation

To remind, at the beginning of 2024, IHI, together with Japan Petroleum Exploration, Mitsubishi Gas Chemical, Mitsui & Co. and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) started a joint study for the establishment of an ammonia supply base in the Soma area, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan.

In the study, in addition to researching to form a base for importing, storing and supplying clean ammonia from overseas in the Soma area of Fukushima Prefecture, the companies will also conduct a demand survey of hydrogen and ammonia for establishing a wide-area supply base for ammonia.

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In 2023, IHI reached a deal with Dutch Royal Vopak to jointly explore the development and operation of ammonia terminals in Japan, with the possibility of expanding the collaboration to other regions. Furthermore, the company signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Mitsui & Co., Mitsui Chemicals and Kansai Electric Power to execute a joint study to establish a hydrogen and ammonia supply chain based in the Osaka coastal industrial zone.