ITOCHU Announces Execution of an MOU on Collaboration in the Development of Green Ammonia Project with South African Company, Sasol

September 2, 2022

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Keita Ishii, President & COO; hereinafter "ITOCHU") announced today that it has signed an Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) containing collaborative development of green ammonia project with Sasol Limited (headquartered in the Republic of South Africa; Representative, President and CEO: Fleetwood Grobler; hereinafter "Sasol"), aiming towards achieving a decarbonized society.

The MOU was signed during the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD 8) in Tunisia. The parties will jointly study the development of ammonia supply chain including green ammonia production facility which Sasol plans to develop in Boegoebaai, Northern Cape province, South Africa. The study will include an export-orientated project of green ammonia for power applications, bunker fuel, and other conventional applications. In addition to studies on joint project development, ITOCHU will also consider financial support in conjunction with financial institutions.

Ammonia is a hydrogen carrier that can efficiently be transported and stored at relatively low cost. Also, ammonia is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions when used as a raw material for fertilizers, which constitute a majority of existing applications of ammonia today, and as a CO2 emission free fuel for thermal power plants, commercial ships, etc. Unlike conventional ammonia production methods using fossil fuels such as gas and coal as raw materials, green ammonia will be produced from utilizing green hydrogen, which is produced using renewable energy sources (solar and wind) via an electrolysis process. Green ammonia draws huge attention as a future-generation sustainable energy resource for achieving net-zero CO2 emissions.

ITOCHU established its contributions to the SDGs and the strengthening of its SDG initiatives as one of the Basic Policies in its Medium-term Management Plan. Under this policy, it has been strengthening initiatives for the establishment of supply chains with an eye on the stable supply of ammonia and promoting the project to manufacture and sell blue ammonia* produced in Canada, the development of ammonia-fueled ships and establishment of an international value chain for ammonia fuel for ships and the use of blue ammonia for fertilizer-related applications.

Sasol will be a leader in energy conversion with a view towards establishment of a decarbonized society through the utilization of South Africa’s abundant solar, wind and precious metals resources and aim to establish production bases for clean fuels such as world-leading green hydrogen and sustainable aviation fuels.

Using this MOU as a platform, ITOCHU, jointly with Sasol, will aim to establish supply chains for green ammonia using South Africa’s competitive resources with a goal of establishing a decarbonized society.

  • *Blue ammonia: Ammonia produced from conventional fossil fuel using the CCS (Carbon Capture and Storage: capture carbon dioxide from the ammonia manufacturing process and store it in an underground formation by injection) method, etc.