IHI, JERA, and Marubeni to work alongside Woodside on studying the feasibility of using ammonia as a co-fuel in thermal power plants

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IHI, JERA, Marubeni, and Woodside Energy win feasibility contract for NEDO programme. (Credit: Pete Linforth from Pixabay)

A group of Japanese firms in cooperation with Woodside Energy have been given a contract by New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organisation (NEDO) to evaluate co-firing of ammonia in commercial thermal power plants.

NEDO is a Japanese public management organisation, which is engaged in the development of new energy and energy conservation technologies.

IHI, JERA, and Marubeni are the Japanese firms which will be involved in a feasibility study alongside Woodside Energy for assessing possible applications for the co-firing of the gas in thermal power plants. In this connection, the companies are expected to carry out studies and evaluations on the economics for the required facilities to enable production and transportation of ammonia.

In a joint statement, the firms said: “Ammonia can efficiently transport and store hydrogen at low cost and in addition to its role as an energy carrier, it can be directly used as fuel in thermal power generation. As ammonia does not emit carbon dioxide at the time of combustion, it is expected to greatly benefit the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.”

The feasibility programme is an additional study scope under NEDO’s “Advanced Research on Technology for Ammonia Co-firing Thermal Power Generation”.

NEDO project to trial use of ammonia as fuel source for existing thermal power plants

The Japanese firms will carry out a technical study required for trialing the direct use of ammonia as a fuel source for already operating thermal power plants.

Additionally, the companies will assess the economics of equipment cost, operational cost, and the capital needed for the production and transportation of ammonia, apart from evaluating other possible applications.

JERA, IHI, and Marubeni said that they aim to play part in further reduction of carbon dioxide emission by promoting and socially implementing hydrogen energy including ammonia.

IHI’s role in the NEDO project will be to evaluate thermal efficiency of ammonia co-firing using numerical analysis. The company will also study on ammonia storage and supply facilities, and also on ammonia co-firing burner related facilities.

JERA will focus on identifying and solving challenges pertaining to the application of ammonia co-firing in commercial thermal power plants, undertake studies on specifications for ammonia storage, vaporizer, and others, and also take up economic evaluation for ammonia cost and capital investment, among others.

Marubeni will be responsible for studying and identifying challenges regarding ways to bring down the carbon dioxide footprint of ammonia and improving transportation efficiency, as part of the NEDO project.

The Australia-based Woodside Energy will be engaged in studying and identifying challenges pertaining to realising large-scale ammonia production plants and ways to bring down ammonia production cost.