Friday, November 9, 2012

No. 642: IHI constructs the world’s first plant to mass produce ammonia from coal in Indonesia (November 9, 2012)

IHI will construct the world’s first plant to mass produce ammonia from coal in Indonesia. The company will start the substantiative experiment in alliance with a local fertilizer company in 2014 and deliver a 100 billion yen plant toward 2016. The Indonesian government will support the project. Although natural gas is usually used to produce fertilizers, IHI developed a technology to reduce the production cost by one third using cheaper low-grade coals.

Coal reserve is estimated to satisfy world’s demand for 200 years, but about 50% of the coal reserve is low-grade coals like brown coal that is hard to burn due to a high water content. IHI opened up way to the practical application of a technology to reform brown coals to hydrogen using a high temperature gasification furnace to produce ammonia. Indonesia is rich in coal resources, 70% of which is low-grade coals. Indonesia can increase exports of natural gas to Japan if it can reduce domestic consumption of natural gas.

IHI will build a demonstration facility outside Jakarta that has a production capacity of 50 tons per day. The initial investment is about 5 billion yen. The 100 billion yen plant will have a capacity to produce 500-1,000 tons of ammonia per day. The Indonesian government pays the construction cost.  

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