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.