Aramco and SABIC collaborated on the world's first shipment of blue ammonia to Japan

Saudi Aramco and the SABIC Agri-Nutrients Company (SABIC AN), have crossed a major milestone by obtaining the world’s first independent certifications recognising blue hydrogen and ammonia production.

The new certifications demonstrate the ambitions of Aramco and SABIC to become global leaders in hydrogen and ammonia.

The certifications were granted by TÜV Rheinland, a leading independent testing, inspection and certification agency based in Germany, to SABIC AN in Jubail for 37,800 tonnes of blue ammonia, and to Aramco’s wholly-owned refinery (SASREF), also in Jubail, for 8,075 tonnes of blue hydrogen.

To certify ammonia and hydrogen as blue, a significant part of the carbon dioxide (CO2) associated with the manufacturing process needs to be captured and utilised in downstream applications.

Commenting on the achievement, Aramco’s Vice-President of Chemicals, Olivier Thorel, says: "These certifications are the first of their kind in the world and signify a major milestone in our efforts to develop clean energy solutions, and advance our hydrogen and ammonia export capabilities. This independent recognition reinforces the work of Aramco and Sabic in decarbonising multiple sectors, including energy, aviation, transportation chemicals and fertiliser industries."

Meanwhile, SABIC Agri-Nutrients CEO, Abdulrahman Shamsaddin, says: "We are indeed proud of this certification, which is part of our journey towards carbon neutrality. We are confident of further boosting growth with our low carbon portfolio helping our fertilisers as well as chemicals customers achieve their very own sustainability ambitions."

SABIC Vice-President, Energy Efficiency and Carbon Management, Fahad Al-Sherehy, says the company is leveraging its existing infrastructure to produce blue ammonia that can help meet the world's growing needs for sustainable solutions.

He says: "To help achieve Saudi Arabia’s target for net-zero by 2060 as part of the Saudi Green Initiative, SABIC recognises that hydrogen will play an essential role in decarbonisation and it is part of SABIC’s overall roadmap toward carbon neutrality by 2050, with a 20 per cent reduction target in carbon emissions by 2030."

Furthermore, SABIC is exploring opportunities to utilise hydrogen for green chemistry to strengthen its sustainable solution offerings.

In 2020, Aramco and SABIC collaborated on the world's first shipment of blue ammonia, a carrier of hydrogen, from Saudi Arabia to Japan. Forty tonnes of high-grade blue ammonia were dispatched for use in low-carbon power generation.

Aramco has recently announced its target to produce up to 11 million tonnes per annum (MMTPA) of blue ammonia by 2030, and is currently developing carbon capture and hydrogen capabilities.

Blue hydrogen production will contribute to Aramco’s ambition to achieve net-zero scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions across its wholly owned operations by 2050.

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