LSB Industries: renewable ammonia in Oklahoma

Two electrolyser technologies side-by-side

LSB Industries' current production facility in Pryor, Oklahoma, where a new renewable ammonia project is being planned. Source: LSB Industries.
Click to learn more. LSB Industries’ current production facility in Pryor, Oklahoma, where a new renewable ammonia project is being planned. Source: LSB Industries.

LSB Industries will partner with thyssenkrupp and Bloom Energy to develop renewable ammonia production at its existing facility in Pryor, Oklahoma, which has a current ammonia production capacity of 246,000 tonnes per year. A to-be-built electrolysis facility will be powered by renewable energy, and produce 30,000 tonnes of renewable ammonia per year (or around 12% of Pryor’s current capacity). A feasibility study is currently underway for the unique project, which will feature two different types of electrolyser technology working side-by-side:

Thyssenkrupp Uhde will develop the engineering design to convert a small portion of Pryor’s existing conventional or “grey” ammonia capacity into green ammonia. Pending results of the feasibility study currently underway, and subsequent board approval, the project will be constructed in two phases: first with Bloom supplying a 10 megawatt (MW) solid oxide electrolyzer, followed by the installation of an additional 20MW alkaline electrolyzer unit, which will be sourced from a leading manufacturer. Bloom will own, operate and maintain the solid oxide electrolyzer that, once in operation, will be the largest of its kind in the world. Once the second electrolyzer is installed and operational, Pryor will be the largest green ammonia production site in North America.

Projects details in LSB Industries’ official press release, 25 May 2022

We believe that being an early entrant into the green ammonia space will allow us to become a leading player as the market evolves. This project is very important for LSB and our partners because, in addition to its initial environmental benefit, it provides a learning opportunity. With two electrolyzer technologies working together in a real-world application, we can learn how to effectively develop projects and operate facilities in this exciting new environment.

LSB Industries President & CEO Mark Behrman in his organisation’s official press release, 25 May 2022

LSB indicates that they expect the project at their Pryor facility to qualify for financial incentives being considered by the US Congress, including potential tax credits for both production & investment. The advent of these so-called “45X” tax credits for renewable projects was discussed at our recent Project Features webinar.

Decarbonising existing ammonia production in the US

This is LSB’s second decarbonisation announcement of 2022. Last month the organisation announced its existing El Dorado facility in Arkansas would be retrofitted for CCS ammonia production, with as much as 75% of current production capacity at El Dorado transitioning to low-carbon technology pathways.

CF Industries is planning its own retrofit of existing facilities to produce CCS ammonia. New projects will produce around 1 million tonnes per year CCS ammonia at their Donaldsonville plant (23% of existing capacity) and 250,000 tonnes per year CCS ammonia at Yazoo City (43% of existing capacity). Similar to LSB Industries, CF is also planning a renewable ammonia project at Donaldsonville, albeit at a smaller scale relative to the size of the facility (0.5% of existing production capacity).

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