In Japan, JERA and IHI Corporation will conduct a demonstration project under the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization’s “Development of Technologies for Carbon Recycling and Next-Generation Thermal Power Generation / Research, Development and Demonstration of Technologies for Ammonia Co-Firing Thermal Power Generation” program. This will be the world’s first demonstration project in which a large amount of ammonia will be co-fired in a large-scale commercial coal-fired power plant.
Ammonia enables efficient, low-cost transport and storage of hydrogen. In addition to this role as an energy carrier, it can also be used directly as a fuel in thermal power generation. As a fuel that does not emit carbon dioxide when burned, ammonia is expected to offer advantages in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The demonstration project aims to establish ammonia co-firing technology by co-firing coal and ammonia at a large-scale commercial coal-fired power plant and evaluating both boiler heat absorption and environmental impact characteristics such as exhaust gases. The project will run for approximately 4 years from June 2021 to March 2025.
In the project, JERA and IHI plan to demonstrate an ammonia co-firing rate of 20% at Unit 4 of JERA’s Hekinan Thermal Power Station (power generation capacity: 1GW) in FY 2024.
JERA is in charge of ammonia procurement and construction of related facilities such as the storage tank and vaporizer, while IHI’s role is to develop the burners to be used in the demonstration. The two companies are moving forward with design and construction.
Hekinan Thermal Power Station (Hekinan City, Aichi Prefecture), where the demonstration project will be conducted.
In addition, in order to ensure the reliability of high-volume ammonia co-firing, the two companies plan to verify the necessary parameters for developing the demonstration burners by conducting small-scale ammonia co-firing tests using burners of different materials at Unit 5 of the Hekinan Thermal Power Station (power generation capacity: 1GW) from August to December 2021.
Earlier in May, JERA and Yara agreed to cooperate in the ammonia value chain business, including development of a blue ammonia production plant. Blue ammonia produced using CO2 offset technology and green ammonia produced using renewable energy are needed to reduce carbon emissions through the entire ammonia life cycle.
Yara is one of the world’s largest producers of ammonia, a global leader in ammonia sales and shipping, and actively working to decarbonize the ammonia production process.