INPEX CORPORATION has taken a final investment decision (FID) on drilling operations and the construction of facilities associated with a demonstration “Kashiwazaki Clean Hydrogen/Ammonia Project” to be implemented at the INPEX-owned Higashi-Kashiwazaki Gas Field in the Hirai area of Kashiwazaki City, Niigata Prefecture, Japan.
The project is expected to involve the transportation of natural gas produced at the INPEXoperated Gas Field in Niigata Prefecture to the Hirai area using an existing pipeline, and the production of 700 tons of blue hydrogen per year at a hydrogen production facility to be newly constructed in the area.
A portion of this hydrogen will be used to produce blue ammonia per year, and the remaining hydrogen will be utilized for power generation. The CO2 generated during the production of hydrogen and ammonia will be separated, pressurized, and injected in a subsurface gas reservoir as a Carbon dioxide Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS) initiative, thereby ensuring the production of blue hydrogen and ammonia and contributing to the low carbon movement. INPEX plans to oversee the safety of the CO2 injection procedure as well as monitor its effects.
This will be Japan’s first demonstration project integrating blue hydrogen and ammonia production and usage, and one of the few in the world that have taken FID on the construction of an actual production plant, where most of the blue hydrogen and ammonia production projects currently remain in the conceptual or planning stages. It is also an important project from the perspective of Japan’s energy security as it will produce clean energy from domestically sourced gas.
The project’s hydrogen and ammonia production and CO2 recovery will be subsidized by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) as an initiative for “Technology Development for the Utilization and Production of Ammonia as Fuel / Technology development for Blue Ammonia production.”
In addition, INPEX will conduct joint research with Japan Organization for Metals and Energy Security (JOGMEC) on the evaluation and implementation of subsurface storage of CO2 as part of the “Demonstration test on identifying possible CO2 storage solutions utilizing domestic depleted oil and gas fields.”
INPEX seeks to develop a hydrogen and CCUS business, which is one of the 5 net zero businesses outlined in the company’s INPEX Vision @2022 announced on February 9, 2022. The company plans to commercialize three or more projects by around 2030 and aims to produce and supply 100 thousand tons or more of hydrogen/ammonia per year targeting an annual CO2 injection volume of 2.5 million tons or more in around 2030.
The project will serve as an initial step toward these goals. INPEX will utilize the results of the demonstration to construct a blue hydrogen production plant in Niigata Prefecture linked to INPEX-operated natural gas fields and existing infrastructure, aiming for commercialization by around 2030. The company will also continue to study blue hydrogen/ammonia and CCS/CCUS project opportunities in other countries utilizing the experience gained from the project.