RePowerEU: supporting the full switch of existing hydrogen production to renewables

The European Commission has announced its latest plan to reduce the EU’s dependence on fossil imports. RePowerEU will encourage a full switch from fossil-based hydrogen to renewable hydrogen, based on the use of carbon contracts for difference. A hydrogen utilisation target of 20 million tonnes per year has also been set, composed of 10 million tonnes from domestic production and 10 million tonnes of imports. Of these imports, the EU has also forecast 4 million tonnes will be in the form of hydrogen-as-ammonia. The new plan marks a significant increase in ambition from the Fit-for-55 package released in July 2021.


Government funding for ammonia energy in the UK

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) will contribute to three ammonia energy projects via the latest funding round of its Net Zero Innovation Portfolio:

  • The Tyseley Ammonia to Green Hydrogen Project near Birmingham, where a demonstration ammonia cracking unit based on H2SITE’s technology will be built to deliver hydrogen transportation fuel.
  • The GreeNH3 project from Supercritical, ScottishPower and Proton Ventures to develop a renewable ammonia pilot plant based on Supercritical’s new electrolyser technology.
  • And the Ammonia Synthesis Plant from Intermittent Renewable Energy (ASPIRE) project. Partners the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and Frazer-Nash Consultancy are developing autonomous renewable ammonia production plants in the UK.


Total: renewable ammonia production in Egypt

Total has signed a new MoU with the General Authority for Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZONE) to develop a renewable ammonia project in Ain Sokhna, Egypt. The first phase targets production of 300,000 tonnes of renewable ammonia per year. SCZONE is now involved with six renewable hydrogen-based projects near the Suez Canal totaling more than $10 billion in investment, and featuring about 1.5 million tonnes of renewable ammonia production in the first phase (expanding to at least 6 million tonnes per year).


DoE funding for ammonia energy

As part of a new round of funding announcements, the US Department of Energy will contribute nearly $10 million to three significant ammonia energy initiatives:

  • GTI Energy (a recent rebrand of the Gas Technology Institute) will develop a prototype ammonia-powered gas turbine.
  • Raytheon will develop and demonstrate an ultra-low NOx emitting ammonia combustor module for gas turbines.
  • And 8 Rivers received backing to complete a pre-FEED study for its CCS ammonia project in Evanston, Wyoming.


Building ammonia supply chains into the Port of Rotterdam

The state government of Queensland has signed a new agreement with the Port of Rotterdam to develop an ammonia export supply chain between Australia and the EU. The announcement comes the same week that the Port of Rotterdam authority set a target of supplying industrial centers in northwest Europe with 4.6 million tonnes of hydrogen by 2030 - the vast majority of which will need to be imported. As to the question of when those imports will begin, the Rocky Mountain Institute has released a new report indicating the EU should be ready to receive renewable hydrogen as soon as significant capacity comes online in 2024.


Australia’s first gas-to-hydrogen pipeline transition to feed ammonia production near Perth

APA Group and Wesfarmers Chemicals, Energy and Fertilisers (WesCEF) have signed a new MoU to investigate the potential of feeding renewable hydrogen to existing ammonia production facilities in Kwinana, near Perth. Sections of APA’s existing Parmelia Gas Pipeline are being assessed for conversion to carry 100% hydrogen. If successful, the pipeline could become a “pure renewable hydrogen service”. In Kwinana, plans are already underway for multiple newbuild hydrogen & ammonia projects.


Renewable ammonia in Colombia

Colombian fertiliser producer Monómeros has signed an MoU with local power utility APBAQ to develop a renewable ammonia project near the city of Barranquilla, on Colombia’s Caribbean coast. The project will be powered by a 350 MW offshore wind farm being developed by Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners.


Green maritime fuels next to the Suez Canal

A series of new announcements illustrates the growing importance of Egypt, the Suez Gulf and the area designated the Suez Canal Economic Zone to the ammonia energy transition:

  • Masdar and a series of public & private partners plan a 4 GW electrolyser capacity, 2.3 million tonnes per year renewable ammonia export project in Ain Sokhna, with the first stage to focus on methanol production for bunker fuel.
  • The General Authority for Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZONE) has signed deals for two smaller maritime fuel production plants, one with French organisation EDF Renewables and the other with UAE-based EMEA Power.
  • And Maersk will explore potential for large-scale green maritime fuel production near the Suez Canal, committing to off take in a new deal with SCZONE and government partners.


Maritime green corridors in Chile, Australia and the US

In three green maritime corridor announcements this week:

  • Chile’s Ministry of Energy and the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping will develop a network of transport corridors in and out of the country.
  • The Global Maritime Forum will lead an Australian consortium seeking to establish ammonia-powered iron ore transport routes between Australia and southeast Asia.
  • and the US State Department has outlined its official approach to green corridors, describing them as a “key means of spurring the early adoption of zero-emission fuels” like ammonia.