Japan’s Mitsui and Korean player GS Energy have signed agreements with Abu Dhabi National Oil company (Adnoc) and compatriot ADQ to partner with Ta’ziz and Fertiglobe to develop a sizeable low-carbon blue ammonia facility in Ruwais.

The partnerships are expected to accelerate Abu Dhabi’s position as a leader in low-carbon fuels, capitalizing on the growing demand for blue ammonia as a carrier fuel for clean hydrogen, Adnoc said in a statement.

Mitsui and G&S Energy are expected to join the proposed blue ammonia project as equity partners and off-takers, the company said.

Blue ammonia is made from nitrogen and clean hydrogen derived from natural gas feedstocks, with the carbon dioxide by-product from hydrogen production captured and stored.

Adnoc said the agreements follow recent sales of low-carbon blue ammonia demonstration cargoes to customers in Japan and Korea by Adnoc and Fertiglobe.

Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, the chief executive of Adnoc, told the Adipec conference in Abu Dhabi that the emirate has sold four cargoes of blue ammonia to Japanese and Korean players in its increased push for energy transition.

Fertiglobe is a partnership between Netherland's OCI and Adnoc, while Ta’ziz has Adnoc and ADQ as key partners.

Adnoc announced this year that it is progressing plans to build a large blue-ammonia project as it deepens the UAE’s exposure to emerging low-carbon fuel value chains.

The facility, which has moved to the design phase, is being developed at the new Ta’ziz industrial complex and chemicals hub at Ruwais, in the west of the country.

The facility is expected to have a capacity of 1 million tonnes per annum, with Fertiglobe joining Adnoc and ADQ as a partner in the project, subject to regulatory approvals.