Project Catalina: GW-scale green ammonia in Spain

5 GW solar+wind power, 2 GW electrolysers

Green ammonia from Project Catalina will feed Fertiberia's existing fertiliser plant in Sagunto. Source: Fertiberia/Valencia Plaza.
Click to learn more. Green ammonia from Project Catalina will feed Fertiberia’s existing fertiliser plant in Sagunto. Source: Fertiberia/Valencia Plaza.

Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, Fertiberia and Vestas will partner with Enagás (who own Spain’s national gas grid) & Naturgy (a Spanish gas & electricity utility) to develop a hydrogen and ammonia mega project in the Aragon region, Spain. At full size, 5 GW of combined wind & solar generating capacity will power 2 GW of electrolysers that produce around 160,000 tonnes of green hydrogen per year (30% of Spain’s current hydrogen demand).

Ammonia a key part of Phase I plans

Construction of Phase I is due to start at the end of 2023, and includes plans for a state-of-the-art green ammonia production facility:

Catalina Phase I…will consist of 1.7GW of wind and solar energy facilities as well as a 500MW electrolyser capable of producing over 40,000 tons of green hydrogen per year. It will connect Aragón and Valencia via a pipeline transporting green hydrogen to supply a newly built, state-of-the-art green ammonia plant with annual capacity of 200,000 tons. Green ammonia will be further upgraded into green and sustainable fertilisers within Fertiberia’s existing assets at Sagunto (Valencia), a breakthrough in the decarbonisation of the agriculture industry. The hydrogen produced will also be used for the decarbonisation of other industrial processes and blending into the natural gas grid. Catalina Phase I is applying for grid connection in Andorra (Teruel), at the Mudejar auction, where it will have a large socioeconomic impact in local Municipalities.

CIP’s official press release, 1 Feb 2022

Decarbonising fertiliser production

For Fertiberia, Project Catalina is way to supply green feedstocks to yet another of their production plants. Upgrades to their Puertollano facility to allow green hydrogen inputs are well underway, and plans to convert the Palos de la Frontera facility are still developing (last May Cummins was selected to provide 230 MW of electrolysers for the project).

Our participation in Project Catalina allows us to maintain our leadership position in the decarbonisation of the crop nutrition sector in Europe. The green ammonia generated by this consortium will be used as feedstock to produce green fertilisers at the Grupo Fertiberia’s plant in Sagunto, next to industrial uses of this highly efficient carbon free molecule. Sagunto will thus become the Group’s third plant to use a renewable feedstock, after Puertollano and Palos de la Frontera, and will be 100% decarbonized, demonstrating our company’s firm commitment to the ecological transition in the agricultural sector.

Javier Goñi, CEO of Grupo Fertiberia in CIP’s official press release, 1 Feb 2022
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Interesting observation: no carbon based fertilizer (urea) is produced at that site. Would that imply that, as the fertilizer industry goes more and more “green”, urea will be progressively phased out???