The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) announced that, in partnership with Fertiglobe, it had sold its first cargo of blue ammonia to Itochu in Japan for use in fertilizer production.
The sale builds upon recently announced joint efforts to enhance industrial cooperation between the UAE and Japan and support new UAE-Japan blue ammonia supply chains.
UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and ADNOC CEO, Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, said that the announcement builds upon ADNOC’s commitment to expanding the UAE’s position as a regional leader in the production of hydrogen and its carrier fuels, meeting the needs of critical global export markets such as Japan.
“Through the expansion of our capabilities across the blue ammonia value chain, we look forward to furthering our legacy as one of the world’s least carbon-intensive hydrocarbon producers and supporting industrial decarbonization with a competitive low-carbon product portfolio,” he said.
Fertiglobe will produce blue ammonia at its Fertil plant in the Ruwais Industrial Complex in Abu Dhabi for delivery to ADNOC’s customers in Japan.
The shipments, sold at an attractive premium to grey ammonia, underscore the favorable economics for blue ammonia as an emerging low-carbon energy source.
The shipment is the first production milestone of a planned scale-up of blue ammonia production capabilities in Abu Dhabi, which is expected to include a low-cost debottlenecking program at Fertil.
In June, it was announced that Fertiglobe would join ADNOC and ADQ as a partner in a new world-scale 1 million metric tons.
Executive Officer of ITOCHU Corporation Masaya Tanaka stated: “We are pleased that ITOCHU, a leading general trading company in Japan, is contributing to a low-carbon society together with ADNOC.”
Tanaka indicated that the company aims to create a wide range of ammonia value chains for existing industrial applications and future energy use.
Nassef Sawiris, CEO of Fertiglobe, noted his company is growing its low-carbon production capabilities in partnership with ADNOC.
“As a result of decarbonizing the feedstock supply, we can materially reduce the carbon intensity of our downstream customers along the value chain and across a wide range of industries.”
Sawiris also noted that: “We are pleased to leverage the Fertiglobe and ADNOC platforms to help decarbonize our production and customers’ footprints while creating value to shareholders, a win-win across the board.”
This project shows that Fertiglobe is on track to become a global leader in low-carbon solutions, leveraging its globally leading position in ammonia, he said.
For Japan, in particular, hydrogen and its carrier fuels, such as blue ammonia, are expected to play an essential role in its ongoing industrial decarbonization efforts.
ADNOC announced in May that it would advance a world-scale blue ammonia production facility at the TA’ZIZ industrial ecosystem in Ruwais, Abu Dhabi.
The design contract for this project has already been awarded, with a final investment decision for the project expected in 2022 and a start-up targeted for 2025.