Japan’s Inpex, partners study ammonia production and export project in US

TOKYO (Reuters) – Inpex , Japan’s top oil and gas producer, and its partners have agreed to study developing a low-carbon ammonia production and export project on the Houston Ship Channel in the United States, Inpex said on Tuesday. 

Japan is betting on ammonia, which it wants to use to reduce emissions by mixing it with coal to fire power plants and for use in other industries.

Inpex said that it and three other companies would work on the “pre-front-end” engineering design (pre-FEED) of the U.S. project, which would aim to produce over 1.1 million metric tons of low-carbon ammonia per year by end-2027 in its first phase and could be expanded in future.

The bulk of the production would be used for power plants in Asia and some volumes could be used in Europe and the United States itself, the statement added. 

Inpex did not provide a breakdown of the shareholding or overall costs but said that it planned to be the largest investor in the project from production to export.

As part of Japan’s move to expand the use of ammonia, trading house Mitsubishi is looking at converting an LPG facility in the Hiroshima area into a fuel ammonia import hub.

Last month, another Japanese trading house, Itochu, agreed to study development of an ammonia bunkering hub in Algeciras on the Gibraltar Strait in Spain.

(Reporting by Katya Golubkova in Tokyo; Editing by Emeia Sithole-Matarise)