JERA and ExxonMobil to develop low-carbon hydrogen and ammonia project in U.S.
Photo courtesy of JERA

JERA and ExxonMobil to develop low-carbon hydrogen and ammonia project in U.S.

In a landmark collaboration, JERA Co., Inc. (JERA) has entered into a project framework agreement with ExxonMobil to jointly explore the development of a groundbreaking low-carbon hydrogen and ammonia production project in the United States. This initiative is poised to make significant strides in the global transition to sustainable energy sources.

ExxonMobil is at the forefront of this venture, with plans to establish what is anticipated to be the world’s largest low-carbon hydrogen production facility at its Baytown Complex, located east of Houston, Texas. The plant is expected to boast an annual production capacity of approximately 900,000 tonnes of low-carbon hydrogen and more than one million tonnes of low-carbon ammonia. The project is targeting to commence production by 2028.

Key aspects of the agreement between JERA and ExxonMobil include exploring JERA’s potential ownership participation in the project and JERA’s procurement of approximately 500,000 tonnes of low-carbon ammonia annually from the project to meet demand in Japan.

JERA is a joint venture between two major Japanese electric power companies, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc. (TEPCO) and Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc. It was established in 2015 and is one of the largest energy companies in Japan. JERA’s business includes the entire energy supply chain, from fuel procurement and power generation to electricity and gas sales. The company has a strong focus on liquefied natural gas (LNG) and is involved in various energy-related projects around the world, including renewable energy initiatives.

JERA is committed to playing a pivotal role in the energy transition, focusing on expanding renewable energy and developing zero-emission thermal power technologies. In line with this commitment, JERA established the JERA Zero CO2 Emissions 2050 goal, aiming to achieve net-zero CO2 emissions from its domestic and overseas operations by 2050.

Steven Winn, JERA’s senior managing executive officer and chief global strategist, emphasised the importance of collaboration among leading companies to establish supply chains for ammonia, hydrogen, and other key products for zero-emission thermal power. He expressed confidence that the partnership with ExxonMobil, a company actively investing in carbon capture and storage (CCS) and hydrogen, will significantly contribute to the global transition to a decarbonised society.

Dan Ammann, president of ExxonMobil Low Carbon Solutions, highlighted the necessity of aligning supply, demand, and supportive regulation to build world-scale projects for new markets. He commended JERA’s leadership in advancing the hydrogen economy and sees this agreement as a crucial catalyst for progress.

This collaboration between JERA and ExxonMobil marks a significant step forward in the development of sustainable energy solutions and the establishment of a global low-carbon hydrogen and ammonia supply chain.