Agreement Reached on Joint Feasibility Study of the Ammonia Value Chain between Eastern Siberia and Japan to Achieve a Decarbonized Society

December 24, 2020

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Yoshihisa Suzuki, President & COO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) announced today that it has agreed with Irkutsk Oil Company (hereinafter "IOC"), Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (hereinafter "JOGMEC") and TOYO Engineering Corporation (hereinafter "TOYO") to conduct a joint feasibility study of the ammonia value chain between Eastern Siberia and Japan.

The project aims to establish a commercially viable blue ammonia* value chain that will help realize a decarbonized society. ITOCHU and TOYO will be commissioned by JOGMEC to conduct a feasibility study of the production of blue ammonia in East Siberia and the value chain for transporting the ammonia to Japan.

As the liquefaction conditions for ammonia are almost the same as Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), which is commonly distributed, it can be transported and stored using the same infrastructure. Ammonia has attracted an attention as a next-generation fuel for thermal power plants and marine engines because it does not emit carbon dioxide during combustion.

  • * Blue ammonia: Ammonia produced from conventional fossil fuel with CCS (Carbon Capture and Storage : capture carbon dioxide from the ammonia manufacturing process and store it at underground by injection) or CO2-EOR

Flow Diagram (Schematic) of the Ammonia Value Chain between Eastern Siberia and Japan

In the next step, there are plans to study an entire production and transportation system for blue ammonia that would involve mass producing ammonia using the natural gas produced by IOC as a raw material, and capturing and injecting carbon dioxide from the ammonia manufacturing process into oil fields in eastern Siberia by CO2 EOR(enhanced oil recovery by injecting carbon dioxide). Achieving this plan would result in a stable supply mass-produced blue ammonia to Japan, which is expected to be used as fuel for thermal power plants as well as other applications.

A coordination among ITOCHU, IOC, JOGMEC and TOYO to utilize the technologies and knowledge of the four companies will contribute to establish an ammonia value chain between Eastern Siberia and Japan, and promote efforts to reduce the greenhouse gas emission by introducing blue ammonia as a fuel.

ITOCHU has extensive track records in the trade of crude oil, petroleum products, LNG, LPG and so on, and in addition to its knowledge of logistics optimization, it engages in a joint venture with IOC to explore, develop and produce crude oil in Eastern Siberia. ITOCHU aims to achieve the production and efficient transportation of ammonia, which is expected to create new demands and markets as a future fuel due to actions to address environmental impact, and will work to achieve the stable supply of blue ammonia to the Japanese market.

  • *In light of the international community's assessment of the ongoing and unsolved situation between Russia and Ukraine, ITOCHU have decided not to undertake new projects in Russia which are subject to sanctions or which may become subject to sanctions in future.