Partnering with Japan's Itch, Malaysia's Petronas in world-scale production facilities.

By Dale Lunan

Canadian infrastructure company Inter Pipeline said May 11 it would partner with Japan’s Itochu and Malaysia’s state-owned Petronas, through its Canadian subsidiary Petronas Energy Canada, to evaluate the development of world-scale integrated blue ammonia and blue methanol production facilities.

Last November, Alberta and Japan signed a memorandum of understanding to pursue joint initiatives in the energy transition space, including those involving hydrogen, ammonia and carbon capture and storage (CCS).

“This project would be among the first of its kind in North America,” Inter Pipeline CEO Brian Baker said. “Once operational, these facilities would be at the forefront of diversifying Canada’s abundant supply of raw resources by converting them to value-added, energy transition products to supply growing global markets with low or no-carbon fuel and energy products.”

Although no specific capacities were identified, a statement from Inter Pipeline said the project would produce “thousands of metric tonnes” of blue ammonia and blue methanol each day. Blue ammonia is an efficient method of transporting hydrogen, while blue methanol, used to manufacture a number of everyday products, including adhesives and construction materials, is also being evaluated as a low-carbon industrial fuel.

Feasibility work for the project includes the evaluation of plans to minimise emissions through CCS. Economic and certain access to adequate pore space for CO2 storage is also part of the feasibility planning.

All three partners must complete a thorough risk assessment and conclude commercial arrangements. A final investment decision is anticipated in early 2024, and if sanctioned, construction would begin in late 2024 with a 2027 in-service date.

“We’re excited to see these private companies continuing to explore meaningful investments to create thousands of well-paying, value-added jobs here in Alberta and support our diversifying energy market on a global scale,” Dale Nally, Alberta’s associate minister of natural gas and electricity, said in a statement. “Moving ahead with this world-class facility shows our Alberta Petrochemicals Incentive Program is working to attract new investment and make life better for Albertans by creating new economic opportunities while reducing carbon emissions in Canada and around the world.”