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YARA and JERA to Work Together to Develop Ammonia Fuel Supply Chain

ammonia production and opimization as fuel
Ammonia will be prodcued at Yara's Pilbara fertilizer plant in Australia (Yara Australia)

Published May 11, 2021 4:06 PM by The Maritime Executive

As a next step in the global efforts to build the business and supply of clean ammonia, Japan’s largest power company JERA and Norway’s ammonia fertilizer company Yara formed a partnership to collaborate on the development of commercial applications for ammonia as a fuel.

Primarily used in fertilizer today, the company’s noted the global interest in ammonia as a fuel because of its properties of not emitting CO2 when burned. Clean ammonia, the term covering production with both the blue and green methods, the company noted also represents an opportunity to reduce carbon emissions through the entire ammonia life cycle. Blue ammonia is produced using carbon capture and storage processes, while green ammonia is produced carbon-free by using hydrogen sourced from renewable energy such as feedstock.

JERA and YARA are targeting collaborations for the supply and development of new blue and green ammonia projects. This includes the exploration of optimizing ammonia for the shipping industry. They will also be focusing on the optimization of ammonia logistics to Japan to meet demand, including for power generation.

Japan recently announced plans to introduce ammonia into the fuel mix for thermal power generation, as part of its measures to cut CO2 emissions and reach carbon neutrality by 2050. As part of its Green Growth Strategy, the Japanese government is targeting importing three million tons of ammonia annually by 2030.

“This ground-breaking collaboration aims to decarbonize JERA’s power production and provide Yara with a footprint in the strategically important Japanese market,” said Svein Tore Holsether, President and Chief Executive Officer of Yara. “Building blue and green ammonia value chains is critical to enabling the hydrogen economy.” 

To build the supply of ammonia for Japan, the companies plan to work on improvements to the Yara Pilbara Fertilizer plant in Australia. Sequestration of the already captured CO2 at Yara’s ammonia plant will be used to enable the production and supply of blue ammonia to JERA.

“We believe that this cross-sector collaboration will not only expand business opportunities for both companies but also accelerate the transition to a decarbonized society,” said JERA Corporate Vice President Yukio Kani.

Yara currently produces roughly 8.5 million tons of ammonia annually and has a fleet of 11 ammonia carriers along with 18 marine ammonia terminals. Yara recently established a new Clean Ammonia unit to develop opportunities for ammonia as a fuel for shipping and power, carbon-free fertilizer, and other industrial applications.