MOL and NYK move ahead with ammonia carrier plans

Japan, Inc is pressing ahead with fixing its future ammonia supply chain.

JERA, a joint venture between utilities TEPCO and Chubu Electric Power Company, has signed memorandums of understanding today with the nation’s two largest shipping lines, Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) and Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK), to cooperate in transporting ammonia for the Hekinan Thermal Power Plant, which is expected to begin commercial operation in the late 2020s. The MOUs cover the joint examination of ways to develop large-volume ammonia carriers as well as ammonia-powered propulsion and to establish safe transport systems.

The Japanese government last year mapped out plans to develop significant ammonia fuelling plans for its utility and shipping sectors.

Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has detailed procurement strategies to ensure the country’s power and shipping industries are using 30m ton of ammonia by 2050 in line with the country’s carbon neutral ambitions.

The aim is to start the commercial use of ammonia this decade, and halve the price of the fuel by 2030.

Ryo Minami, director-general of oil, gas and mineral resources at the ministry, said in December 2020 that he sees ammonia as “the second LNG” in terms of introducing a new fuel to the world led by Japan.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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