ITOCHU Announces Development of the Use of Blue Ammonia for Fertilizer

September 2, 2021

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Keita Ishii, President & COO; hereinafter "ITOCHU") announced today that it will import blue ammonia, a product that Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (hereinafter "ADNOC") has begun to sell. ITOCHU will begin marketing its use in fertilizer production.*1 The first shipment is scheduled to arrive to Japan in October this year. At present, blue ammonia has been considered mainly for use in fuel production in Japan. This is the first time that use of blue ammonia in fertilizer is being attempted in Japan.*2 Concurrently, ITOCHU will begin studying the establishment of a blue ammonia fertilizer supply chain in cooperation with Ube Industries, Ltd. (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Masato Izumihara, President & Representative Director; hereinafter "Ube Industries") and others, and expand this framework for activities in the future.

At present, the global production of ammonia is about 200 million tons annually. Most of this production emits CO2, and the impact of this on climate change has been identified. This blue ammonia exported by ADNOC is able to significantly reduce CO2 emissions compared with conventional ammonia because the blue ammonia is produced from natural gas and the emitted CO2 is separated and collected, and then stored underground.

In Japan, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries laid out the goal of achieving zero CO2 zero emissions by 2050 in its MeaDRI strategy for sustainable food systems. *3 In this environment, it is also necessary to take measures to reduce the CO2 emissions from the entire lifecycle of chemical fertilizers.

In July this year, ITOCHU reached an agreement with ADNOC on the marketing of blue ammonia for use in fertilizer production and other industrial fields. Going forward, ITOCHU will cooperate with Ube Industries and other fertilizer production companies to contribute to the sustainable growth of agriculture through the production, sale, and popularization of blue ammonia fertilizer to reduce CO2 emissions from the life cycle of chemical fertilizers, including their production and use.

ITOCHU has established the Basic Policy, "Enhancing our contribution to and engagement with the SDGs through business activities," in its medium-term management plan. Accordingly, it will continue initiatives to progress businesses that are able to contribute to the realization of a decarbonized society by solving issues toward the realization of a sustainable society.