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Is there enough fuel ammonia available?

A. In recent years, more countries around the world are planning to produce clean ammonia, therefore, it is reasonable to expect that enough amount of clean ammonia could be available.
  • Currently, Japan’s annual demand for ammonia is approximately 1 million tons, however a single 1,000 MW coal-fired power plant using 20% ammonia co-firing, will use approximately 500,000 tons, accounting for half of the current demand in Japan. Unlike hydrogen, ammonia is already traded internationally on a commercial basis, but the demand for ammonia as a fuel is enormous, so it is important to establish a large-scale and reliable supply chain like LNG for the social implementation of fuel ammonia.
  • The interim report of the Public and Private Councils for the Introduction of Fuel Ammonia, organized by the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy, estimates domestic demand for fuel ammonia of 3 million tons in 2030 and 30 million tons in 2050 in order to reduce GHG emissions, and aims to establish a global supply chain of 100 million tons by 20501). To achieve this goal, a “Public and Private Task Force on Fuel Ammonia Supply Chain” has been established as a forum for expert discussions, and discussions are underway.
  • Countries such as the Americas, Australia, and the Middle East that capable to produce ammonia including CCS, and other countries with large amount of renewable energy are showing interest in supplying fuel ammonia. Ammonia production and transportation methods have already been established, and although it will take a certain time for each country to expand its production capacity to meet the growing international demand for ammonia, including the implementation policies of each country and the start-up of individual projects, we believe that we can establish a supply chain more quickly than other energy carriers.
  • A presentation delivered by the Ammonia Energy Association (AEA)*1 at the QUAD Ammonia Value Chain Workshop hosted by the Japan Energy and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) in December 2022, summarized the annual production of each of blue and green ammonia in the world’s previously published fuel-ammonia production plans. It was shown that by 2030, 20.6 million tons of blue and 47.2 million tons of green, and if further included, 27.1 million tons of blue and 144.7 million tons of green2). These developments are expected to be sufficient to meet the above-mentioned fuel ammonia demand in Japan and around the world. In this way, the supply side is also preparing to expand production of clean fuel ammonia, for which demand is increasing.

*1   Ammonia Energy Association (AEA): A U.S.-based international organization that promotes the production, distribution, and use of clean ammonia. 197 member companies worldwide as of February 7, 2023.

  1. Public and Private Sector Council on Introduction of Fuel Ammonia, Interim Report of Public and Private Sector Council on Introduction of Fuel Ammonia (February 2021) (In Japanese)【Link
  2. T. Brown (Ammonia Energy Association), “Ammonia Certification”, Quad Workshop on Ammonia Value Chain (Dec 2, 2022).【Link

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