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Blue ammonia in the Northern Territory & Wyoming

A new, million-tonne per-year blue ammonia project is under development in the Northern Territory, Australia, with gas from the Pedirka Basin (located near Alice Springs) to be used to produce hydrogen, and carbon emissions sequestered in a nearby geological formation. An MoU between project developer Hexagon Energy Materials and FRV Australia will see FRV-owned renewable power (existing or new build) provide electricity to Hexagon's to-be-built hydrogen and ammonia production facilities.

In Wyoming, North Shore Energy and Starwood Energy Group have received over $4 million in funding from the Wyoming Energy Authority for "Project Phoenix" - a state-of-the-art ammonia complex with on-site carbon capture and sequestration capabilities to be built near Evanston.

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New ammonia-powered vessels: Newcastlemax & Panamax class

Rio Tinto and AngloEastern have announced they will develop Newcastlemax class, ammonia-powered bulk carriers. The dry cargo vessels will be the maximum size allowed to dock in the Port of Newcastle, Australia: an important coal & iron ore port in global maritime trade. Both AngloEastern and Rio Tinto are members of an Itochu-led maritime fuel study investigating the use of ammonia. In Japan, a "greener ships" consortium has produced its first-ever ammonia-powered design: a Panamax-class bulk carrier. And the China State Shipbuilding Corporation will develop two 93,000 m3 ammonia-powered ammonia carrier vessels, with Bureau Veritas granting AiP for the vessel design.

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Trafigura plans new green export project in South Australia

Trafigura and the South Australian state government will jointly fund FEED work into a commercial-scale green hydrogen export facility in Port Pirie, 200km north of Adelaide, the South Australian capital city. At full-scale the facility will produce 100 tonnes per day green hydrogen from 440 MW of electrolysers, with some earmarked for local use and the remainder to be exported as green ammonia (max. 200,000 tonnes per year). Oxygen produced during electrolysis will be sent next-door to Nyrstar's Port Pirie smelter, one of the world's largest producers of lead and silver. At full capacity, the electrolysis facility will meet 100% of the smelter's oxygen requirements.

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Fortescue’s ammonia locomotive one step closer

R&D for ammonia-powered locomotives is full steam ahead in Perth, as Fortescue Future Industries moves onto converting two four-stroke, diesel locomotives to run on ammonia fuel. Deployment of an ammonia-powered demonstration locomotive within their current rail operations is planned for later this year. In other FFI news this week, a technical feasibility study has given the thumbs up for FFI to convert Incitec Pivot's existing Gibson Island ammonia production plant to a green ammonia facility, and a new agreement between Australian energy giant AGL and FFI will see the pair turn the current Liddell and Bayswater coal power stations into a huge green hydrogen hub near Newcastle, NSW.

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Producing cheap, clean hydrogen: new updates

Three new updates this week:

1. A team at Durham University has shown that a massive scale-up of PEM electrolyser manufacturing capability can slash the capital costs of producing electrolyser units by up to 70%.

2. A team from the University of Campinas has proposed more focus on electrolysis of waste and seawater to produce hydrogen, avoiding direct competition between drinking water and hydrogen production.

3. A team from the Australian National University has demonstrated a new pathway forward for hydrogen production directly from sunlight by demonstrating a stable, efficient photocatalyst.

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Green ammonia port hubs in the UK and Australia

H2 Green will develop a renewable energy hub at the Port of Shoreham in West Sussex. The initial focus will be the electrification and use of hydrogen fuel in the Port's vehicle fleet (heavy forklifts and trucks), before expanding to accommodate the ~800 heavy goods vehicles that enter the port daily. The second phase will be an ammonia import facility to meet growing demands for hydrogen fuel in the surrounds. In Australia, the Geelong Hydrogen Hub will be developed by CAC-H2, a developer who is also planning two carbon-negative, waste-to-ammonia projects in Australia. The Geelong Hub includes multiple, new-build infrastructure elements including import/export & cracking facilities. Similar to Shoreham, import of green ammonia to meet growing demand for hydrogen fuel is the second phase of the project.