Vopak and IHI signing

Japanese heavy industry group IHI Corporation (IHI) and Dutch tank storage company Royal Vopak (Vopak) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to jointly explore the development and operation of ammonia terminals in Japan, with a possible further collaboration outside of Japan.

The collaboration between the two companies will focus on large-scale ammonia storage terminals, strategically positioned for the economical distribution of ammonia.

Ammonia plays an important role as a fuel for reducing carbon emissions from thermal power generation and as a hydrogen carrier, both in Japan and abroad.

In addition, the study will examine the possibility of streamlining the operation of ammonia terminals to enhance price competitiveness, as well as the conversion and supply of various hydrogen derivatives.

IHI is currently working toward the realization of a decarbonized society through the development of integrated technologies from upstream to downstream, including fuel ammonia production, storage, and utilization.

IHI is Japan’s leading manufacturer of ammonia storage tanks, having designed and constructed approximately 70% of all ammonia storage tanks in Japan.

Currently, IHI is developing comprehensive technology for large-scale ammonia receiving terminals utilizing the large storage tank technology that IHI has cultivated in the field of LNG storage tanks.

With over 20 years of ammonia storage experience, Vopak has extensive knowledge on safe handling and storage of ammonia to facilitate the development of large-scale ammonia import, storage and distribution infrastructures. Currently, Vopak has ammonia storage operations in China, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Malaysia and in the US, as the company said.

Most recently in the United States, Vopak and its global partners are collaborating on the pre-FEED for the development of a large-scale, low-carbon ammonia production and export project on the Houston Ship Channel.

Jun Kobayashi, board director, managing executive officer, IHI Corporation, said “We are pleased to begin joint discussions with Vopak on the development and operation of ammonia terminals. As demand for ammonia continues to grow, we recognize the need to rationalize terminal operations and strengthen price competitiveness in order to meet this demand. We will leverage the strengths of both companies to form a terminal that can be utilized in the future and to build a robust supply chain.”

Chris Robblee, president of Asia & Middle East, Vopak, pointed out “We are excited to work with IHI and look forward to collaborating together as we advance the commitment of both companies towards a low-carbon future. As we embark on this journey, we envision synergies between both companies that will create innovative solutions to accelerate the development of new supply chains for the energy and feedstocks of the future.”