Japan’s Inpex Ventures Into Blue Hydrogen

Japan’s biggest oil and gas explorer Inpex announced that it was venturing into the production of blue hydrogen and ammonia by building facilities that use its domestically produced natural gas in the city of Kashiwazaki in Northern Japan. The company targets a total 700 tonnes of blue hydrogen production per year from 2025 by transporting natural gas from another gas field nearby. Inpex intends to make the hydrogen “blue” by eliminating emissions through carbon capture and storage (CCS).

“This is Japan’s first attempt to demonstrate the production of blue hydrogen and ammonia using local gas, the implementation of CCS in local depleted gas fields and the use of hydrogen for power generation in a consistent manner,” Inpex’s senior executive vice president Ikeda said.

Out of 700 tonnes of hydrogen, 600 tonnes will be used at a hydrogen-fired power plant to generate 1,000 KW electricity while 100 tonnes will be used to make 500 tonnes of ammonia which will be used for fertilizers or chemical products.

The company wants to eliminate carbon emissions by capturing CO2 from the hydrogen plant and inject 5,500 tonnes of CO2 a year in an underground gas reservoir at its depleted gas fields.

Inpex, while not disclosing how much it will spend, said the project would be subsidized by the state owned New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO).

Inpex has set a goal to produce 100,000 tonnes of hydrogen and ammonia annually by around 2030 through at least three projects in Japan and abroad, and to achieve an annual CO2 injection volume of 2.5 million tonnes in around 2030.

“We are looking into new hydrogen and CCS projects in Australia,” Ikeda said.

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