ITOCHU Announces Collaboration in the Green Ammonia Project with Hive South Africa with a View Towards Creation of a Decarbonized Society

December 11, 2023

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Keita Ishii, President & COO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) announced today that it concluded a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) concerning a collaboration in the field of green ammonia with Hive Hydrogen South Africa*1 (hereinafter "Hive").

In September 2023, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry held a plenary session at Tokyo GX Week 2023 where an MOC regarding a collaboration in the fields of hydrogen and ammonia was signed by Japan and the Republic of South Africa. This MOC with Hive is aligned with the two countries' desire to deepen collaboration pertaining to the development of a sustainable and low-cost hydrogen and ammonia supply chain.

ITOCHU and Hive will jointly engage in deliberation regarding the green ammonia production project in Coega, Nelson Mandela Bay, the Eastern Cape province, the Republic of South Africa. The project will utilize the rich sources of renewable energy (wind and solar power) and existing infrastructure such as the ports in the area to produce and market competitive green ammonia.

Ammonia is a hydrogen carrier that can be efficiently transported and stored at relatively low cost. The substance is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions when used as a CO2-free fuel for thermal power plants, ships, etc. Unlike conventional production methods for fossil fuels such as gas and coal, green ammonia will be produced from green hydrogen, which in turn is produced from renewable energy via an electrolysis process. Green ammonia draws 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 low-carbon ammonia in Canada, the development of ammonia-fueled ships and establishment of an international value chain for ammonia fuel for ships and the use of low-carbon ammonia for fertilizer-related applications.

With this MOC as a platform, ITOCHU, jointly with Hive, aims to establish supply chains for green ammonia using South Africa’s competitive resources with the goal of realizing a decarbonized society.

Scene from the signing ceremony

From the left, Baphelele Mhlaba, Chief Of Staff at Office of the Premier, Eastern Cape, Thulani Gcabashe, Chairman, Hive Hydrogen SA,
Shinya Ishizuka, CEO, ITOCHU Africa Bloc, Ushio Shigeru, His Excellency the Ambassador of Japan