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China and Australia collaborate on ammonia as a clean transport fuel

The University of Western Australia has entered the increasingly competitive field of ammonia energy research in Australia, announcing a collaborative agreement to develop "the world's first practical ammonia-powered vehicle" as well as an "ammonia-based hydrogen production plant." These goals are supported by funding from the R&D arm of Shenhua Group, formerly a coal company but now "China's largest hydrogen producer with a production capacity to power 40 million fuel cell passenger cars."

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NH3 Fuel Association Announces Charter Sponsors

The NH3 Fuel Association (NH3FA) has released the names of the organization’s charter group of sponsors. The common thread that unites the six companies? A conviction that ammonia energy represents a significant opportunity for their businesses. The sponsors are Yara, Nel Hydrogen, Airgas, Haldor Topsoe, Casale, and Terrestrial Energy.

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Yara: solar ammonia pilot plant, for start-up in 2019

Yara, the world's biggest producer of ammonia, has announced that it intends to build a demonstration plant to produce ammonia using solar power, near its existing world-scale plant in the Pilbara, in Western Australia. It expects to complete the feasibility study this year. Next year, in 2018, Yara hopes to finish the engineering design and begin construction so that it can complete the project and begin production of carbon-free ammonia in 2019.

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Kawasaki Moving Ahead with LH2 Tanker Project

Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KWI) is moving ahead with plans for a “liquefied hydrogen carrier ship,” as reported by at least two Japanese news outlets since July.  This means that the groups backing each of the energy carriers included within Japan’s Cross-Ministerial Strategic Innovation Promotion Program (SIP) have all made significant moves ahead of the program’s termination at the end of 2018.  On July 25, 2017 the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) announced that a collection of companies and research institutions had come together to form the Green Ammonia Consortium.  On July 27, 2017, Chiyoda Corporation announced that work was starting on a demonstration project that will transport hydrogen from Brunei to Japan using liquid organic hydride carrier technology. 

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BOC/Linde Embraces Ammonia-Based Hydrogen Fueling Technology

Dateline Sydney, August 22, 2017.   Industrial gas vendor Linde Group (under its BOC brand) confirms its participation in a previously announced Australian ammonia-energy project.  With the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) in the lead, the project partners will build and operate a pilot-scale “ammonia-to-hydrogen cracking” facility that showcases CSIRO’s hydrogen purification membrane technology.  BOC/Linde will contribute goods and services valued at AUD$100,000 (USD$80,000) to the AUD$3.4 million project.

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NH3 Fuel Association Chapter Launching in Australia

Following the NH3 Fuel Association’s call last September for the formation of national organizations to advocate for ammonia energy, a chapter of the Association is taking shape in Australia.  John Mott, until recently CEO of the Australian industrial refrigeration concern Gordon Brothers, has spearheaded the formation of a local chapter of the NH3 Fuel Association (NH3FA).  The chapter will be known informally as the NH3 Fuel Association Oz. Monash University, Australia’s largest university, has agreed to host the organization.

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On the Ground in Australia: Two Key Mentions for Ammonia Energy

Ammonia energy is about the development of technology, but it is also about the mobilization of investment.  To be precise, it is about how evolving technology can attract investment and how investment enables technological evolution.  A dynamic of this nature is emerging in Australia, where recent citations of ammonia energy in two mainstream venues signal its arrival as a legitimate target for public- and private-sector investment.