Ammonia imports from 2026
Air Products and Gunvor will jointly develop a renewable ammonia import terminal at Gunvor Petroleum’s existing refinery & distribution facilities in Rotterdam Europoort. The partners expect the terminal to be providing hydrogen to the Netherlands in 2026, receiving imports of renewable ammonia from Air Products production projects around the world. At this stage it appears ammonia cracking will be involved to yield hydrogen for the European market:
The green ammonia will be converted to hydrogen and distributed to markets within Europe, including the Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium.Project details from Air Products’ official press release, 28 June 2022
Air Products and Gunvor are seeking for the project to be recognized as an ‘Important Project of Common European Interest’, and note in the press release that development of an EU certification standard for green or renewable ammonia is critical to ensure ammonia imports meet any emissions intensity requirements (just this week we’ve seen related policy developments emerge from the European Parliament).
Gunvor is pleased to be partnering with Air Products through Nyera, our investment vehicle dedicated to supporting the Energy Transition, in order to leverage strategic locations such as our Rotterdam facility in a way that advances the development of sustainable and renewable energy initiatives.Gunvor Global Head of Portfolio Shahb Richyal in Air Products’ official press release, 28 June 2022
We are very supportive of Air Products’ and Gunvor’s plans, which are a great example of using a brownfield location to set up a new import terminal for green ammonia in the port of Rotterdam. Both companies have been active in the energy sector for a long time and are responding to society’s demand to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as to increase Europe’s energy independence…First-mover projects like this will make Rotterdam Europe’s foremost Hydrogen Hub.Port of Rotterdam CEO Allard Castelein in Air Products’ official press release, 28 June 2022
Distributing hydrogen to Europe from Rotterdam
It’s already been a big year for ammonia announcements at the Port of Rotterdam. Two other import terminals are under development: one by OCI and the other by new entity ACE Terminal. The Port authority has also set a target of supplying northwest Europe with 4.6 million tonnes of hydrogen by 2030.
A critical part of the distribution aspect is infrastructure. Dutch gas network operator Gasunie is a partner in the ACE Terminal project, and this week announced that it had started construction of a national hydrogen distribution network in the Netherlands. Gasunie estimates that about 85% of this future network will be repurposed natural gas infrastructure, with extensions built to link up domestic production and use locations, and then to key industrial locations in Germany and Belgium. Gasunie also recognises the critical role of ammonia in this transition, aiming to make ACE Terminal “the ammonia import terminal of Rotterdam”.