Seven companies, including Shikoku Electric Power Company, Taiyo Oil Company, Taiyo Nippon Sanso Company, Mazda Motor Corporation, Mitsubishi Corporation, Namikata Terminal Company, and Mitsubishi Corporation Clean Energy, have established the “Council for utilising Namikata Terminal as a Hub for introducing Fuel Ammonia”. Located in Imabari City, Ehime Prefecture, the Namikata Terminal currently handles about 1 million tonnes per year of LPG and other petroleum products brought in from Japan and overseas.
Our vision is to establish an ammonia terminal in the early stage of the fuel ammonia market, creating a low-cost ammonia import hub that can accommodate large vessels.Takao Hariya, Head of Mitsubishi’s Next-generation fuels and Petroleum Division, quoted in “Japan’s Mitsubishi considers opening fuel ammonia import hub”, Reuters (29 Sept, 2023)
The new council plans to repurpose existing infrastructure at the terminal into a hub capable of handling about 1 million tonnes of ammonia annually by 2030. The plans include converting several large-scale low-temperature LPG tanks (45,000 tonnes capacity) to ammonia tanks. Along with Shikoku Electric Power, Mitsubishi Corporation will serve as the council’s secretariat, with some local cities participating as observers.
Following its commitment to realise carbon-neutrality by 2050, the Japanese government sees ammonia as important for applications such as co-firing at thermal power plants, a source of thermoelectricity for industry, and a source of hydrogen fuel via cracking. The Namikata Terminal can play an important role in establishing an efficient ammonia supply chain and promoting its use in the Shikoku and Chugoku regions. The Council aims to unite public and private interests to re-establish the terminal as a clean energy hub and create new clean energy industries.
Initially announced in April this year, the Namikata Terminal project was highlighted by a Mitsubishi Corporation executive at the International Conference on Fuel Ammonia in Tokyo in September.
At the same conference, Mitsubishi announced the signing of an MoU with Proman for a potential 1.2 million tonnes per year CCS-based ammonia facility next to Proman’s existing methanol production site in Lake Charles, Louisiana. This is one of Proman’s first major ammonia projects, as the gas company has hitherto focused on methanol.