Showa Denko decided to invest ¥650m in this June to start reconstruction of the liquid ammonia (LNH3) distribution center which was devastated by the Great East Japan Earthquake and the tsunami that followed – reports the Gas Review.

The distribution center started operation at the Soma Port of Fukushima Prefecture in March 2010 as the logistics base of its original liquid ammonia products for delivery to the six prefectures of the Tohoku District and Niigata Prefecture, and was being engaged in the distribution of liquid ammonia in the fields of metal surface treatment, heat power station and garbage disposal facility. However, the center has been out of operation since the tsunami disaster caused by the earthquake.

The tsunami destroyed the gas cylinder filling system and the LNH3 production facility, and also washed out 300 gas cylinders. Fortunately, two units of 120-tonne filling equipment for delivery to tank trucks remained undamaged. They are going to be operated continuously as safety has already been checked on them.

In this reconstruction work, engineers will install liquid protective barriers, anti-pressure protectors , sprinklers, foam sprayers and leak detectors for safety measures instead of stopping the filling of gas cylinders and production of LNH3. In addition, engineers have applied an equipment design on the assumption of evacuation routes such as the removal of the two 120-tonne liquid ammonia units up to a plateau.

The total amount of liquid ammonia sold per year amounted to 6,000 tonnes, which is distributed through the logistic base. As an annual demand in the Tohoku District, of 20,000 tonnes, the company is regarded as the top supplier as it provides 30% of the district’s needs. In the Tohoku District, a stable supply is now needed due to the users restarting their operations and, the working ratio of heat generation plants has risen which has increased demand.

Showa Denko’s public relations department described the history as heat power plant being responsible for half of the consumption of liquid ammonia.

The company has seven LNH3 distribution centers in Chiba, Kawasaki, Yokkaichi, Kawagoe (Mie Prefecture), Toyama, Mizushima and Oita. In addition to the cylinder storage facility in Osaka Port, the company is going to restart the logistic base of Soma Port in March 2014.