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Japan’s biggest power generator, JERA, said on Friday it will conduct an international auction to buy up to 500,000 tonnes of ammonia a year from 2027 to be used as a fuel in its coal-fired power plants to cut carbon dioxide emissions.

In an effort to create a global supply chain in ammonia, JERA has sent a request for proposals to more than 30 companies, seeking a long-term contract from the 2027 financial year starting in April 2027 to sometime in 2040s, it said in a statement.

Ammonia is used for fertiliser and industrial materials, but is also seen as a future energy source, along with hydrogen. It does not emit carbon dioxide when burned, although it creates emissions if it is made with fossil fuel.

Last year, JERA and IHI Corp began to use small volumes of ammonia along with coal at JERA’s Hekinan coal-fired power station in central Japan as part of a demonstration project to reduce the facility’s emissions of CO2.

JERA aims to switch 20% of the fuel at No.4 unit to ammonia by the late 2020s.

[Yuka Obayashi]

More: Japan’s JERA to seek 500,000 T of fuel ammonia a year through global auction

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