The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) has agreed to sell blue ammonia to Japanese petroleum company Idemitsu, in collaboration with Fertiglobe, for use in its refining and petrochemicals operations.
The chemical compound blue ammonia is made from hydrogen generated by steam methane reforming. Ammonia is one of the easiest ways to store and transport hydrogen.
Fertiglobe, a joint venture between ADNOC and OCI, is building a massive blue ammonia plant in the UAE’s downstream center in Ruwais. The plant will have a production capacity of 1,000 kilotonnes a year.
According to ADNOC, “The sale builds upon recently announced joint efforts to enhance industrial cooperation between the UAE and Japan and support the development of new UAE-Japan blue ammonia supply chains and follows the first sale of UAE blue ammonia cargos to Itochu.”
The shipment was sold at “an attractive premium” to grey ammonia, the company noted. Grey ammonia is produced from fossil fuel-powered hydrogen. Although it is typically less expensive than other kinds of hydrogen or ammonia, it has a higher carbon footprint.
This is the second time ADNOC and a Japanese company have agreed to sell blue ammonia. The company sold its first shipment of blue ammonia, which was developed in collaboration with Fertiglobe, to Japanese trading house Itochu earlier this month for use in fertilizer production.
Ammonia is a low-carbon fuel that can be utilized in a variety of industries, including transportation, power generation, refining, and steel, wastewater treatment, cement, and fertilizer production.
In Japan’s current industrial decarbonization initiatives, hydrogen and its carrier fuels, such as blue ammonia, are projected to play a key role. The cargo will be used by Idemitsu to test the usage of blue ammonia to decarbonize refinery operations.