Saudi Aramco and the Japan Energy Economics Institute (IEEJ), in partnership with the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), announced the successful production and export of the first shipment of blue ammonia from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Japan with the support of the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). Tons of high-quality blue ammonia to Japan for use in carbon-free power generation.The announcement comes amid growing expectations for the role hydrogen will play in the global energy system. Ammonia, a compound consisting of three atoms of hydrogen and one atom of nitrogen, can contribute to meeting the challenges of rising global energy demand in a reliable, sustainable and affordable way.
The Saudi-Japanese blue ammonia supply network stretches across the entire value chain, including converting hydrocarbons into hydrogen and then into ammonia, while simultaneously capturing associated CO2 emissions. The challenges associated with shipping blue ammonia to Japan for use in power plants were addressed, as 30 tons of carbon dioxide were captured during the process designated for use in methanol production at SABIC’s Avicenna facility, and another 20 tons of captured carbon dioxide were used. To improve the oil recovery (EOR) process in the Uthmaniyah field.
This achievement highlights one of the many pathways within the Circular Carbon Economy (CCE) concept, which is a framework in which carbon dioxide emissions are reduced, removed, recycled, and reused – rather than released into the atmosphere.
“The use of hydrogen in the global energy system is expected to increase,” said Saudi Aramco’s chief technology officer, Ahmed Al-Khowaiter. This first worldwide shipment represents an important opportunity for Saudi Aramco to showcase the potential of hydrocarbons as a reliable source of low carbon hydrogen and ammonia. This achievement also highlights the successful partnership between Saudi Arabia and Japan. There is no doubt that such international partnerships are essential in achieving a circular carbon economy, which the Kingdom supports during its current presidency of the G20 summit, ”adding that“ Saudi Aramco is working with various partners from all over the world in finding solutions by disseminating advanced technologies to produce energy. Low carbon to meet the global climate challenge ”.
Masakazu Toyoda, Chairman and CEO of the Japan Energy Economics Institute, said: “Blue ammonia is extremely important to Japan’s ambitions to reduce carbon emissions in order to maintain a balance between the environment and the economy. About 10% of Japan’s energy can be generated with 30 million tons of blue ammonia. So we can begin to release this substance co-fired in current power plants, and then finally move on to mono-burning 100% blue ammonia. There are countries like Japan that cannot necessarily benefit from carbon capture, exploitation and storage or oil recovery process due to their geological conditions, but neutral ammonia / blue carbon hydrogen gas will help overcome this obstacle. ”
“We can benefit economically from our existing infrastructure for hydrogen and ammonia production through carbon dioxide capture,” SABIC Vice President Energy Efficiency and Carbon Management, Dr. Fahad Al-Shuraihi, said. Our experience in the complete supply chain along with integrated petrochemical facilities will play an important role in providing blue ammonia to the world. ”
Ammonia contains about 18% of hydrogen by weight, and it is a chemical that is widely traded globally. It does not release carbon dioxide emissions when burned in the thermal power plant, and has the potential to make a significant contribution to the future of clean, safe and affordable energy. SABIC and Mitsubishi, represented in the Japan Energy Economics Institute study team, are overseeing the logistical transportation process in partnership with: JGC Corporation, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries – Engineering, Mitsubishi Shipbuilding, and UBE Industries Corporation.
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