ConocoPhillips, Japan’s JERA to Jointly Develop Hydrogen Project

U.S. energy major ConocoPhillips will provide natural gas and manage a carbon capture and storage (CCS) facility for its proposed U.S. hydrogen gas project to be jointly developed with Japan’s largest utility JERA. The agreement to supply gas for hydrogen, a potential low emission fuel for electricity generation opens a new gate for natural gas producers. Several companies, including ConocoPhillips, have signed long-term supply contracts with LNG developers that supply utilities.

According to JERA, a study to determine the hydrogen project’s feasibility could be complete by year-end. The plans is to produce hydrogen from natural gas and convert it into exportable ammonia for sale in the U.S., Europe and Asia.

JERA Americas said the two companies are planning to become a low cost ammonia supplier to domestic and international markets. The plant could be in operation within five to eight years at a site along the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Conoco has outlined investments in multi-billion-dollar U.S. and Qatari LNG projects. It is also evaluating a carbon capture facility for an LNG plant being developed by electricity and gas provider Sempra.

JERA Americas said the company, Germany’s Uniper and ConocoPhillips aim to initially produce 2 million tonnes of ammonia per year, which could eventually expand to 8 mtpa. Ammonia typically is used to make fertilizers but offers a low-carbon fuel that could be burned to produce electricity.

JERA is considering several sites along the Gulf Coast for the hydrogen, ammonia and CCS site, powered in part by JERA’s U.S. renewable energy operations.

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