Pertamina NRE and Pupuk Kaltim develop thorium-powered green ammonia

Jakarta – Pertamina New & Renewable Energy (Pertamina NRE) pioneered a collaboration with Pupuk Kaltim to develop thorium-powered green ammonia. The two state-owned enterprises (SOEs) also involve other strategic parties with expertise in the industry, namely Copenhagen Atomics, Topsoe, Alfa Laval Copenhagen, and Aalborg CSP.

“The six companies agreed to work together to carry out studies related to the development of green ammonia through the utilisation of small modular reactor (SMR) nuclear power plants with thorium raw materials in Bontang, East Kalimantan,” Pertamina NRE Chief Executive Officer Dannif Danusaputro said in an official statement, adding that the agreement was outlined in a memorandum of understanding signed at Topsoe headquarters in Lyngby, Demark, on Friday, May 19, 2023.

“Green ammonia is one of Pertamina NRE’s future businesses. We are also currently developing green hydrogen and green ammonia pilot projects in North Sulawesi,” said Danusaputro.

He said through this collaboration, Pupuk Kaltim and Pertamina NRE can produce green ammonia that can be used by 45 million Indonesians and potentially reduce emissions by 1.7 million tons of CO2 per year.

“This thorium-based green ammonia project will be the first initiative in Indonesia to utilise nuclear power,” said Danusaputro.

Pupuk Kaltim President Director Rahmad Pribadi said this initiative is part of Pupuk Kaltim’s commitment to innovate in environmentally friendly agricultural products.

Thorium is a new and renewable energy source and includes nuclear fuel other than uranium. Based on information from the official website of, Indonesia has a potential thorium content of 210,000 – 270,000 tons stored in Bangka, West Kalimantan, and West Sulawesi. This potential provides a massive opportunity for Indonesia to develop and utilise it. (Hartatik)

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