Aramco Ships First Blue Ammonia to Japan
Saudi Aramco has made the world's first blue ammonia shipment, to Japan for use in zero-carbon power generation, it said on September 27. It did not provide any information on the cost.
The production and shipment of 40 metric tons of the fuel was carried out in partnership with the Institute of Energy Economics Japan (IEEJ) and Aramco's petrochemicals arm Sabic. Natural gas was used to produce hydrogen at a plant in the Saudi port of Jubail and then combined with nitrogen to create the ammonia. The carbon dioxide extracted from the gas was captured and used at a methanol plant in Jubail and an enhanced oil recovery (EOR) pilot plant in Uthmaniyah.
The ammonia will be used at a 2-MW gas turbine in Yokohama, Japan, a 50-kW micro gas turbine in Koriyama and for co-firing in a boiler in Aioi, Aramco said, demonstrating a full supply chain.
Aramco CTO Ahmad Al-Khowaiter said the operation showed the potential of Aramco's hydrocarbon reserves as a source of low-carbon hydrogen and ammonia. IEEJ CEO Toyoda Masakazu estimated that 10% of Japan's power could be generated using 30mn mt/yr of blue ammonia.
"We can start with co-firing blue ammonia in existing power stations, eventually transitioning to single firing with 100% blue ammonia," he said. "There are nations such as Japan which cannot necessarily utilise carbon capture and storage or EOR due to their geological conditions. The carbon neutral blue ammonia/hydrogen will help overcome this regional disadvantage."