As newly elected President of the Ammonia Energy Association (heretofore the NH3 Fuel Association; a formal name change announcement will be made in the fall), I am very pleased to announce our first class of industry members. Fourteen companies have joined the Association and thereby made a tangible commitment to ammonia as a clean and affordable staple of the sustainable energy economy of the future. At the Association’s Annual Meeting on August 15, representatives of the member companies elected eight new Directors to the Board. Participation on Board committees was also solicited.
All seven of the companies that sponsored the 2017 NH3 Fuel Conference signed on as members in 2018. These include ammonia producer Yara; chemical engineering companies Casale and Haldor Topsoe; industrial gas company Airgas; hydrogen technology company Nel Hydrogen; generation-four nuclear power company Terrestrial Energy; and ammonia synthesis technology developer Starfire Energy.
The seven companies that are new to the Association in 2018 include chemical producer BASF; ship design and engineering company C-Job Naval Architects; hydrogen production, fuel and energy systems company ITM Power; consulting, technology licensing and engineering design services company KBR; chemical engineering company Proton Ventures; advanced technology prototyping services and products company ReactWell; and technology provider and engineering, procurement, and construction company thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions.
Our membership now includes:
- The world’s largest fertilizer producer (Yara)
- The company that tasked Carl Bosch with the commercialization of Fritz Haber’s ammonia synthesis process in 1910 — and went on to become the world’s largest chemical producer (BASF)
- The four main licensors of ammonia production technology (Casale, Haldor Topsoe, KBR, and thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions)
- The two most prominent hydrogen technology specialists (ITM Power and Nel Hydrogen)
- The largest distributor of industrial ammonia in the U.S. (Airgas); Airgas is a division of Air Liquide, one of the world’s three largest industrial gas companies
- A catalyst for the groundbreaking ammonia energy work in the Netherlands, and the convener of the NH3 Event series of conferences (Proton Ventures)
- The largest independent ship design & engineering company in the Netherlands (C-Job)
- Three technology companies at the cutting edge of their respective fields (ReactWell, Starfire Energy, and Terrestrial Energy)
Commenting on the Yara’s decision to join the Association at the Platinum level, Vice President Technology Scouting Rob Stevens said, “Yara has always been aware of the energy content of the ammonia used in fertilizer applications. Through our role on the Association’s Board and cooperation with other ammonia industry members, we will be able to influence the use of decarbonized ammonia in a range of energy applications.”
The eight new Directors elected to the Association’s Board during the Annual Meeting were Rob Stockwell of Casale, John Bøgild Hansen of Haldor Topsoe, Brandon Iglesias of ReactWell, John Kutsch of Terrestrial Energy, Daniel Morris of KBR, Kris Olsen of ITM, Rob Stevens of Yara, and Steve Szymanski of Nel Hydrogen. These Directors join current Board members John Holbrook, James Grieve, Steve Wittrig, Trevor Brown, Bill Ayres, and myself.
The new Board elected Officers as follows: John Holbrook Vice President, Trevor Brown Treasurer, Steve Szymanski Secretary, and myself President.
Steve Szymanski led the process of nominating the new Directors and Officers. He said that he “was pleased with the excellent response from our industry members, and by the diversity of companies now represented on the Board. It highlights the broadening acceptance of an ammonia-based energy economy, and the recognition of emerging business opportunities in this sector.”
Discussion during the meeting focused on Board committees as key vehicles for conducting the work of the Association. Four committees have already been chartered.
As the capstone of the committee structure, an Executive Committee composed of the four Officers focuses on practical management of the Association, forming policies and setting organizational direction as circumstances warrant. The Nominating Committee promotes rotation of company representatives into positions of leadership within the Association.
The Strategy Committee is tasked with long-term planning to promote ammonia in the transition to a sustainable energy economy. The key focus of the Committee is prioritization of jurisdictions for advocacy programs as well as setting the agenda for advocacy in high-priority jurisdictions.
In addition to orchestrating the Association’s own events, the Conference Committee considers opportunities for Association representatives to speak at outside gatherings. Over the last four months, representatives have spoken at the NH3 Event in Rotterdam, the U.S. Department of Energy ARPA-E REFUEL Annual Meeting in Minneapolis, a U.S. Department of Energy H2@Scale meeting in Chicago, and a private conference in London that has not been publicized. It is expected that the pace of such participation will accelerate in the coming year.
The Board also heard proposals for two additional committees. One would explore digital options for facilitating communication within the ammonia energy community. Individuals approach the Association several times a week seeking contacts or asking questions. An on-line platform that encourages peer-to-peer interaction may prove to be a superior method of channeling this interest.
The second proposal relates to the technical standards that will need to be in place before ammonia can be used as a direct fuel in most jurisdictions. The committee would develop a plan of attack based on near-term use cases and country-specific needs.
Committees will be composed of individuals with relevant expertise and perspectives. It is not necessary to be affiliated with a member company to fill a seat. Individuals with an interest in serving on one or more committees are asked to contact Stephen Crolius.