ITOCHU Announces Project to Manufacture and Sell Blue Ammonia and Blue Methanol in Canada, Aiming to Realize a Decarbonized Society

May 24, 2022

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Keita Ishii, President & COO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) announced today that, based on the memorandum that had been signed on a project to manufacture and sell blue ammonia and blue methanol (*) in Alberta by ITOCHU, Petronas Energy Canada Ltd., which holds interests in natural gas in Canada and which is a 100% subsidiary of Petroliam Nasional Berhad, a Malaysian national oil company, and Inter Pipeline Ltd. (hereinafter "IPL"), a major infrastructure regional enterprise, a joint feasibility study has been conducted and, recently the concept design for a plant has been completed and detailed studies have been launched ahead of a decision to move to the basic design within this fiscal year.

This project aims to establish one of the world's largest production and supply systems of blue ammonia and blue methanol, aiming to realize a decarbonized society. The ongoing joint feasibility studies cover the cost estimate, appraisal / assessment of the production process, and optimization of product transportation from a port in Western Canada. By sharing the utility facilities such as water, electricity, steam and effluent treatment facilities with the attached ammonia and methanol plant, a significant cost savings is expected. The construction of the both plants will begin in 2024, with commercial production slated to start in 2027.

Ammonia has been attracting attention as a hydrogen carrier that offers inexpensive and effective storage and the transportation of hydrogen and is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as a fuel that does not emit any CO2 when combusted, in thermal power plants or in the ammonia fueled ship that has been promoted by ITOCHU. With the Japanese government estimating domestic demand at 3 million tons in 2030 and at 30 million tons in 2050 in its "Green Growth Strategy through Achieving Carbon Neutrality in 2050," ITOCHU will establish new blue ammonia manufacturing sites and advance the construction of a supply chain for the stable supply of ammonia.

As for methanol, approximately 80 million tons are consumed annually worldwide and used as a basic chemical for various purposes, including adhesives and coatings for buildings, agrichemicals, plastic resin for automobile parts and acrylic panels, clothing and plastic bottles. Through this project, ITOCHU will promote the shift to blue methanol, a low-carbon material, as part of its carbon neutrality efforts.

For its part, ITOCHU will accelerate the development of sustainable energy systems through this initiative and ensure its contributions to the SDGs and improvement of related efforts, one of the basic policies laid out in its medium-term management plan, as the company pursues the creation of a low-carbon society.

  • *Blue ammonia/blue methanol: Ammonia/methanol 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), etc.