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Comment Sustainability

Yara and Sumitomo Chemical explore clean ammonia collaboration in Japan

By Mary Page Bailey |

Yara International ASA (Oslo, Norway) and Sumitomo Chemical Co. (Tokyo, Japan) have entered a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the potential supply of clean ammonia to Sumitomo Chemical for its use in chemicals production, accelerating Japan’s green energy transition.

Under this MoU, Yara and Sumitomo Chemical will examine clean ammonia supply for:

  • Sumitomo Chemical’s use in petrochemicals, plastics production, and/or energy
  • distribution, based out of Sumitomo Chemical’s plants domestically in Japan

The collaboration with Sumitomo Chemical would accelerate Japan’s green energy transition and build upon the growing momentum associated with clean ammonia. Japan has set targets to grow the nation’s ammonia fuel demand to 3 million tons per year by 2030, and 30 million tons per year by 2050, each as part of its initiative to cut CO2 emissions and reach carbon neutrality.

Likewise, Sumitomo Chemical aims to achieve a 30% reduction in its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and is also considering raising its reduction targets. This innovative partnership with Yara based around clean ammonia would contribute considerably towards realizing Sumitomo Chemical’s goal.

“Yara and Sumitomo Chemical have cultivated a strong relationship over many years to pursue this exciting prospect of working together and drive forward innovative decarbonization technology. We are impressed by Sumitomo Chemical’s desire to increase its use of clean ammonia. This next phase of enhanced collaboration will contribute to the establishment of an end-to-end competitive ammonia supply chain which will be intrinsic in decarbonizing Japanese chemical sectors.” says Magnus Krogh Ankarstrand, President Yara Clean Ammonia.

Ammonia does not emit CO2 during combustion and is seen as an effective future energy source due to its properties ideally suited for the hydrogen economy. Furthermore, it does not require cooling to extreme temperatures to liquefy, and has a higher energy density than liquid hydrogen, making it more efficient to transport and store. Ammonia plays an increasingly important role in addressing climate change.

This MoU with Sumitomo Chemical is the fourth collaboration on clean ammonia that Yara has announced this year with key Japanese partners, including JERA, Kyushu Electric Power and Idemitsu Kosan.

The term “clean ammonia” comprises both “blue ammonia” and “green ammonia.” “Blue ammonia” is derived from a carbon capture and storage process, while “green ammonia” is produced carbon-free by using hydrogen sourced from renewable energy as feedstock.

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