The Ammonia Wrap: world’s largest ammonia manufacturing complex begins decarbonising, and a welcome boost for EU fertiliser producers

Welcome to the Ammonia Wrap: a summary of all the latest announcements, news items and publications about ammonia energy.

World’s largest ammonia manufacturing complex begins decarbonising

Click to enlarge. The Donaldsonville complex in Louisiana, US which produces more than 4 million tonnes of ammonia per year. Source: CF Industries.

thyssenkrupp will provide 20 MW of alkaline electrolysis units to CF Industries for installation at their Donaldsonville ammonia production facility in Louisiana. Powered by renewable electricity purchased from the grid, CF plans to use the resulting green hydrogen to produce 20,000 tonnes of green ammonia per year (around 0.5% of Donaldsonville’s current capacity), starting from 2023.

Success in this initial installation and an improving business case will hopefully see electrolysis capacity and green ammonia production at Donaldsonville expanded well beyond these numbers in the coming years. This “kick-off” project is the first step in CF Industries’ commitment to becoming a net-zero emissions organisation by 2050, first reported on by Ammonia Energy in October 2020.

Call for green hydrogen projects in Chile

A new US$50 million fund has been launched to support green hydrogen projects of 10 MW or more in Chile. CORFO, the official government funding agency, will provide funds to support the purchase of electrolyser units and other related infrastructure, with the proviso that the project must commence commercial operations by the end of 2025. Visit the fund’s official website here (Spanish language).

New maritime decarbonisation forecast from MAN ES

Click to visit the AHOY study.

MAN ES and Fraunhofer ISI have teamed up to perform an updated analysis on progress towards the IMO’s 2050 emissions reduction targets and the prospects of different decarbonisation pathways.

The key takeaways? Buy-in and advocacy pressure from the wider public will be required to push the maritime sector to decarbonisation. And, a fossil fuel ban for newbuilds may be required in the later half of this decade. MAN CEO Dr. Uwe Lauber stresses that time is of the essence – after all, 2050 is “just a single ship-generation away.”

Decarbonised shipping at the Biden climate summit

Click to read the full remarks from the Biden administration.

In the wake of the recent Leader’s Summit on Climate, the Biden administration has committed to supporting the IMO’s emissions reduction goals. The US will also join a Denmark-led program focused on carbon-neutral shipping as part of the global “Mission Innovation” initiative (the Danish government have indicated Copenhagen-based Maersk will be a key player in the program, and we’ve already reported this month on Maersk’s plans to get a methanol-fueled, carbon-neutral vessel on the water by 2023).

Fertilizers Europe welcomes the new Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism

Click to enlarge. Paving the way to green ammonia and low carbon fertilizers, a new fact sheet from Fertilizers Europe.

With several EU producers announcing scaling up of their low-carbon fertiliser technologies and projects, Fertilizers Europe has welcomed the newly-minted Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism as key to protecting EU producers against “carbon leakage”. FE believes the mechanism will help level the international playing field, and (hopefully) incentivise non-EU exporters to lower the carbon intensity of the product over time.

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Joe Beach

I am glad that CF Industries is adding 0.5% renewably produced hydrogen to their plant. However, I take issue with that being equated to them producing 20,000 tonnes/year of green ammonia. They are not producing any green ammonia, they are reducing the carbon footprint of that ammonia factory by 0.5%. If an company that makes bread were to use a blend of 95% conventional flour and 5% organic flour to make their bread, they would not be allowed to declare that 5% of their loaves of bread were organic. If they did so, they would be accused of false advertising.… Read more »