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Aramco delivers low-carbon ammonia shipment to Japan

Saudi Aramco
The ammonia was produced by Sabic Agri-Nutrients with feedstock from Aramco

Saudi Aramco’s first shipment of independently-certified low-carbon ammonia has reached Japan for use as fuel in power generation. 

The ammonia was produced by Sabic Agri-Nutrients with feedstock from Aramco and sold by Aramco Trading Company to the Fuji Oil Company. 

Mitsui OSK Lines was tasked with shipping the liquid to Japan, which will be transported to the Sodegaura Refinery for use in co-fired power generation, with technical support provided by Japan Oil Engineering Company.

The successful shipment resulted from a multiparty collaboration across the low-carbon ammonia value chain, the Saudi oil giant said in a statement.

The ammonia is categorised as low-carbon as CO2 from the associated manufacturing process was captured and utilised in downstream applications.

Japan’s ministry of economy, trade and industry plans to increasingly harness ammonia as a fuel for power generation and ship propulsion as part of the country’s 2050 decarbonisation goals. 

The low-carbon ammonia that reached Japan is part of broader efforts by Aramco and Sabic Agri-Nutrients to establish a global supply network for this lower-carbon fuel. 

Olivier Thorel, Aramco senior vice president of chemicals, said: “Not only is low-carbon ammonia a means to transport lower-carbon hydrogen, it is an important energy source in its own right that can help decarbonise key sectors including power generation for both utilities and industries.”

Shigeto Yamamoto, Fuji Oil Company, representative director, president, added: “In order to reduce CO2 emissions from our own operations, we have been working on co-firing ammonia, which is a by-product of the petroleum refining process, in the boiler at our Sodegaura refinery. We plan to burn low-carbon ammonia imported this time in the same boiler.”

In 2020, Aramco collaborated with Saudi Basic Industries Corporation to dispatch the world’s first shipment of low-carbon ammonia to Japan in a demonstration project. 

In 2022 Aramco and Sabic Agri-Nutrients received the world’s first independent accreditation for low-carbon hydrogen and ammonia products. By year-end, the two companies delivered the first accredited low-carbon ammonia shipment to South Korea.