Mitsubishi, Lotte, RWE to set up Clean Ammonia production, export facility in US
Mitsubishi Corporation, LOTTE CHEMICAL Corporation and RWE have formed a strategic alliance to jointly develop stable and large-scale clean ammonia supply chains in Asia, Europe and the US. The companies have signed a joint study agreement to develop a large-scale integrated clean ammonia production and export project in Port of Corpus Christi, Texas, USA.
Under the JSA, the partners agreed to jointly study the development of a large-scale ammonia facility that integrates green and blue ammonia production and leverages common infrastructure for international exports with a focus on Asia and Europe.
The companies target production to commence by 2030, and a phased build-out of production capacity with multiple production units. In the final build-out stage the project is envisaged to produce up to 10 million tons of clean ammonia per year.
The land required for the project is under discussion with the Port of Corpus Christi Authority. The partners are bringing together complementary expertise to develop the project, according to their official press release.
There are growing expectations that ammonia will become a next-generation clean energy source, as it does not emit carbon dioxide when burned. As ammonia requires significantly less cooling for liquefaction than hydrogen, it is also considered to be the most economical carrier for the transport of hydrogen molecules by ship.
Blue ammonia is derived from hydrogen that is produced via natural gas feedstock, along with carbon capture and storage technologies to ensure that the produced fuel is low carbon. Green ammonia, on the other hand, is derived from hydrogen produced via water electrolysis based on renewable energy.
It is to be noted that Mitsubishi Corporation is an indirect shareholder of PT Panca Amara Utama (PAU) which is responsible for a plant that produces 700,000 tons/year of ammonia in Indonesia. With Japan's annual imports of ammonia predicted to reach 3 million tons by 2030 and 30 million tons by 2050, the company aspires to introduce fuel ammonia in Japan by utilizing its expertise.
RWE has undertaken about 30 green hydrogen projects in its core markets. It has recently announced its plan to build an import terminal for ammonia in Brunsbüttel, Germany by 2026.
In its REPowerEU plan, the EU has set a target of producing 10 million tons of renewable hydrogen domestically and importing 10 million tons of renewable hydrogen by 2030, of which 4 million tons is expected to be hydrogen-as-ammonia. This equates to approximately 20 million tons of ammonia.