Photo courtesy of JERA - Hitachinaka Generation Co., Inc.

JERA collaborates with PETRONAS to start green ammonia trial production

Japan’s JERA Co., Inc. will collaborate with Malaysian state-owned oil and gas enterprise, Petroliam Nasional Berhad (PETRONAS), to start green ammonia trial production. A joint fuel-procurement venture between Japan's Tokyo Electric Power and Chubu Electric Power, JERA said it has concluded a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with PETRONAS to discuss opportunities in promoting the use of LNG in Asian countries and in establishing supply chains for ammonia and hydrogen fuels.

Based on the “JERA Zero CO2 Emissions 2050” announced last year, JERA has been working to achieve virtually zero CO2 emissions from its operations in Japan and overseas by 2050, through the expansion of renewable energy and the development of technologies for zero CO2 emission thermal power generation. 

Thus, JERA is pursuing collaboration with leading companies to establish supply chains for green fuels, such as ammonia and hydrogen, that are key to zero CO2 emission thermal power generation.

Ammonia is produced by extracting hydrogen from natural gas, a process that generates large amounts of carbon dioxide. Together with PETRONAS, JERA will produce ammonia through electricity generated from renewable energy to eliminate carbon dioxide emissions. The companies plan to start a pilot project within the next year, in which coal and ammonia will be mixed and used as fuel at a thermal power plant in Aichi Prefecture, in central Japan. 

JERA and PETRONAS have built a good relationship through the sale and purchase of LNG over nearly 40 years. Because PETRONAS is one of the leading ammonia producers in Asia, and is considering the production of green ammonia and hydrogen, JERA believes there are many businesses in the LNG and decarbonization sectors in which the two companies can collaborate. 

“We are pleased to conclude this MOU with PETRONAS, which shares our goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. We believe that strengthening our cooperation with PETRONAS will not only expand business opportunities for both companies but also contribute to the stable supply of energy globally and the transition to a decarbonized society,” JERA Corporate Vice President Yukio Kani said.

JERA will continue to work with energy industry counterparts and other leading companies both in Japan and overseas in order to strengthen its LNG business, renewables business, and establish and expand green fuel supply chains in an energy market undergoing great change.

For JERA, Japan's largest power generation company, the move highlights its efforts to decarbonize its fuel as the electric power industry faces calls to reduce carbon emissions and become more eco-friendly. JERA accounts for about 10% of Japan 's total emissions of carbon dioxide, with its thermal power plants using gas and coal as fuel. The joint venture aims to reduce its emissions to virtually zero by 2050 and plans to use ammonia as fuel for power generation, and also hydrogen in stages. By 2040, JERA plans to operate power generation equipment that will only need ammonia as fuel.