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Technology status: ammonia production from electrolysis-based hydrogen

Electrolysis-based ammonia production peaked worldwide around 1970, before the economies of scale and cheap gas feedstock led to its decline. With decarbonization and climate-neutral industrial processes now a critical priority, electrolysis-based ammonia production has re-emerged as a long-term solution. From a base of 10,000 tonnes per year worldwide production in 2020, as much as 100 million tonnes per year of electrolysis-based ammonia could be produced by the end of this decade, driven by a dramatic roll-out of renewable energy generation and installed electrolyzer capacity.

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Maritime ammonia: fuel cell propulsion systems, car carriers & bunkering in Germany

In maritime ammonia updates this week:

  • Alma Clean Power’s containerised SOFC system design has been granted AiP by DNV. A 2 MW, ammonia-fed system will be used to retrofit the Viking Energy vessel as part of the ShipFC project.
  • Grimaldi Group has increased its order for ammonia-ready car carriers to fifteen. China Merchants Heavy Industries will construct the 9,000 car equivalent units design at Jiangsu shipyards, delivering the first vessels in 2025.
  • Mabanaft and Hapag-Lloyd will explore the supply of ammonia bunker fuel to Hapag’s vessels at the Port of Hamburg (Germany), and the Port of Houston (USA).
  • and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action will fund the construction of three, future-proof LNG bunker vessels, which are designed to be upgraded to handle ammonia fuel.

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How to build a green shipping corridor

COP27 saw an exciting number of green shipping corridor announcements. But the question remains: how do we actually build them? Earlier this year, the Maersk McKinney Møller Centre for Zero Carbon Shipping launched a Feasibility Phase Blueprint, setting out some key assessment criteria to consider. At the recent annual AEA conference in Phoenix, we took a group of sixty participants through the criteria, asking how and where the ammonia sector should engage.

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Fertiliser giant OCP Group to go fully renewable, eliminate ammonia imports to Morocco

In a ceremony before King Mohammed VI of Morocco, OCP Group presented a new, green investment plan for 2023-27. The $13 billion plan will see OCP install 5 GW of renewable energy by 2027, completely powering their fertiliser manufacturing operations. A production target of one million tonnes per year renewable ammonia (also by 2027) will see OCP make serious headway into replacing its ammonia imports into Morocco with locally-made feedstock, improving food & energy security.

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Renewable ammonia opportunities in Egypt

For our December episode of Ammonia Project Features, we welcomed Alzbeta Klein (International Fertilizer Association) and Tarek Hosny (Fertiglobe). Our speakers discussed a pathway forward for Egypt’s fertilizer industry to decarbonize, presented the newly-commissioned Egypt Green Hydrogen project, and outlined the unique advantages (and challenges) of developing renewable production projects in Egypt.

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Kepco agrees to ammonia offtake from Gladstone

Kepco and the Hydrogen Utility have signed an offtake agreement for renewable ammonia produced at the under-development H2-Hub in Gladstone, Queensland. The pair will develop supply chains for the ammonia product to be exported to Korea, where it will be used to decarbonise power stations. In Western Australia, two new renewable energy-powered, million-tonne-per-year projects have been launched, with Korean-based KOMIPO and Australia-based Progressive Green Solutions agreeing to develop the new export plants.

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Renewable ammonia & fertilizers in Sub-Saharan Africa

In our December episode of Ammonia Project Features, our three guests focused on renewable ammonia production in Sub-Saharan Africa. Allan Manhanga (Sable Chemicals) took us through the story of renewable ammonia production in Zimbabwe from 1972 to 2015, and what is needed to restart the industry there. Ralph Koekkoek (MET Development) presented a new renewable ammonia & fertilizer project underway in Kenya, with a focus on local farmers and national food security. And Marcel Jacobs (African Hydrogen Partnership) emphasized the important role of organisations in raising awareness & de-risking future projects, particularly through approaches like the proposed East African Green Hydrogen and Fertilizer Corridor.

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Gigawatt-scale renewable ammonia in Northwest Africa

In our November episode of Ammonia Project Features we explored two gigawatt-sized ammonia production projects in Northwest Africa: AMUN (Morocco) and AMAN (Mauritania). Nouri Chahid (CWP Global) presented project details, while Lloyd Pinnell (Systemiq) explored the socio-economic impacts of AMAN in Mauritania. If developed in the right way, AMAN could provide potable water, access to cheap renewable electricity, significant local employment & education opportunities, as well as the opportunity to build institutions to best manage new economic windfalls.

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Cepsa and Port of Rotterdam to create a green maritime corridor from the Mediterranean

Cepsa and the Port of Rotterdam will establish a green maritime corridor between southern and northern Europe. Renewable hydrogen will be produced near the Bay of Algeciras (Spain) and exported to Rotterdam, with ammonia and methanol both listed as potential vectors. The pair expect the corridor to be operational by 2027. This week the Port of Rotterdam also announced that a potential green maritime corridor to the Port of Gothenburg, Sweden is under development.