UAE state-owned oil company, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) signed a joint study agreement (JSA) with three Japanese companies to explore the commercial production of blue ammonia in the country.
The new agreement was signed with INPEX Corporation (INPEX), JERA Co. Inc. (JERA), and a government agency, the Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC).
The agreement builds on ADNOC’s leadership on low-carbon fuels and experience in carbon capture and storage and follows a virtual meeting between Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Managing Director and Group CEO of ADNOC, and Mr. Kajiyama Hiroshi, Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI).
The ministers reviewed joint efforts between both countries to boost industrial cooperation and drive new opportunities for partnerships in hydrogen, renewables, and climate change following a series of framework agreements ADNOC signed with Japan’s METI as well as other Japanese companies earlier this year.
“For almost five decades, the UAE and Japan have enjoyed a deep-rooted and successful strategic relationship, underpinned by long-standing energy partnerships. As we increase our focus on the potential of new lower-carbon fuels and navigate the energy transition, the UAE and ADNOC are keen to build and strengthen our existing partnerships and seize growth opportunities with Japan that can help produce more energy with fewer emissions. This joint study agreement with INPEX, JERA and JOGMEC provides a roadmap for us to deepen access to Japanese markets for ADNOC’s products and further strengthen the UAE’s hydrogen value proposition.”
Mr. Kajiyama said, “In January, METI and ADNOC signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) on Fuel Ammonia and Carbon Recycling. Since then, further progress has been made among relevant entities, and we are pleased with the signing of JSA on fuel ammonia by ADNOC, INPEX, JERA and JOGMEC today. Japan hopes that today’s conclusion of JSA will lead to further progress in concrete efforts to the supply of fuel ammonia from Abu Dhabi to Japan.”
Blue ammonia is a more easily transportable fuel made from nitrogen and blue hydrogen derived from natural gas feedstocks, with the carbon dioxide by-product from hydrogen production captured and stored. Ammonia can be used as a low-carbon fuel across a wide range of industrial applications, including transportation, power generation, and industries including steel, cement and fertilizer production.
Currently, ADNOC is embarking on a world-scale blue ammonia production facility at the TA’ZIZ Industrial Chemicals Zone in Ruwais which will have a capacity of 1,000 kilotons per annum, and further opportunities in blue ammonia will be explored under the new agreement.
In January, the UAE and Japan agreed to cooperate on fuel ammonia and carbon recycling technologies following the signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation between ADNOC and Japan’s METI.
Both the UAE and Japan enjoy strong bilateral economic relations dating back to 1961 when the first shipment of UAE crude oil was exported from the Umm al-Shaif offshore field in Abu Dhabi to Japan.