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Decarbonizing fossil-based ammonia production in North America

Our latest Ammonia Project Features webinar focused on various pathways for decarbonizing fossil-based ammonia production in North America. Blake Adair from Nutrien took us on a tour of some of his organisation’s existing low-carbon ammonia production facilities. He also explained how the technology solutions already exist to drive down emissions from hydrogen production, and improve rates of carbon capture. Dr. Amgad Elgowainy from Argonne National Laboratories then presented his team’s analysis of carbon dioxide mitigation costs for ammonia production, noting that current federal incentives for CCS projects already have a material impact on project costs. With incentives in place and mature technology available, we will soon see more low-carbon ammonia production projects emerge in North America.

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Aramco targets 11 million tonnes of low-carbon ammonia production by 2030

Aramco is targeting production of 11 million tonnes per year of low-carbon ammonia by 2030, among a raft of new sustainability goals announced this week. Aramco’s target for renewable energy generating capacity target (12 GW) will be met by its involvement in the new ammonia Supergiant the Saudi Arabia Renewable Energy Hub, but the source of low-carbon ammonia production is not yet clear.

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Building hydrogen and ammonia value chains in Indonesia

Indonesia’s state-owned fertiliser manufacturer will join forces with Mitsubishi Corporation to explore the feasibility of hydrogen & ammonia supply chains in the country: both renewable and CCUS-based. The new partnership aims to reduce coal utilisation at existing thermal power plants via co-firing with ammonia, helping Indonesia to meet its emissions reduction targets.

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New IEA report: using low-carbon ammonia to decarbonise power

The Role of Low-Carbon Fuels in the Clean Energy Transitions of the Power Sector forecasts a significant role for low-carbon hydrogen and ammonia in decarbonising the power sector, and highlights the promising results of co-firing trials to date (both coal power plants and gas turbines). The report also outlines some key next steps to enable the widespread use of these low-carbon fuels.

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Decarbonising the Normandy industrial basin

Air Liquide, Borealis, Esso, TotalEnergies and Yara signed a new MoU this week to assess the technical and economical feasibility of implementing an industrial CO2 capture and storage (CCS) chain, from their industrial facilities in Normandy to ultimate storage in the North Sea. For Yara’s Le Havre ammonia production plant, the project could deliver "100,000 tons Blue Ammonia."

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The Ammonia Wrap: two new large-scale ammonia projects in the UAE and more

Welcome to the Ammonia Wrap: a summary of all the latest announcements, news items and publications about ammonia energy. This week: two new large-scale ammonia projects in the UAE, RWE, BASF combine for 2 GW "Offshore-to-X" project, green ammonia exports from Tasmania, coal co-combustion trials in Japan, Japanese shipping industry chases decarbonisation, South Korean companies join together in local green ammonia consortium, new funding for ammonia-from-wastewater research and Horisont Energi and Equinor join forces for the Polaris project.

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Certification of low-carbon ammonia: panel wrap-up from the 2020 Ammonia Energy Conference

What are the key considerations that need to be worked through so we can design and implement a certification scheme for low-carbon ammonia that works for a diverse range of stakeholders? On November 17, 2020, the Ammonia Energy Association (AEA) hosted a panel discussion on the topic as part of the recent Ammonia Energy Conference. Not only was it valuable to find out what important players in the ammonia industry want to see in any future certification scheme, but the panel also kicked off a consultation process among AEA members. An audience of around one hundred and fifty producers, end users and researchers all gave their thoughts on what they would like to see in a future scheme, providing a terrific launching point for the AEA Certification Committee to draft, develop and debut a low-carbon ammonia certification scheme.

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Saudi Arabia ships low-carbon ammonia to Japan

Last week, Saudi Aramco and the IEEJ attracted significant media attention when they announced that the first “blue” ammonia has been shipped to Japan. Aramco’s celebration of this shipment of 40 tons of ammonia (not 40 thousand or 40 million, just 40 tons) raises many questions, but makes three things clear. First, projects to demonstrate the carbon footprint of specific batches of low-carbon ammonia are now underway, and these case studies will inform the design of an international low-carbon ammonia certification scheme. Second, there is an urgent need to establish definitions across the industry, or risk losing credibility. Third, Aramco (absolutely the most profitable company in the world, with over a hundred oil and gas fields and almost 300 trillion scf of natural gas reserves) has sent a clear signal that it intends to make and sell ammonia as a decarbonized energy commodity.

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Flattening the climate risks curve

The COVID-19 pandemic is a human tragedy of epic proportions. It directly affects the life and livelihoods of people all around the world as an unprecedented healthcare and economic crisis. It is clear by now that COVID-19 marks an inflection point or “black swan” event in history that will have a shaping influence on society and the economy for many years to come; a post COVID-19 era will begin. In the same way that the developing renewable energy industry significantly benefited from the economic stimulus packages to address the financial crisis of 2008/2009, we now have the opportunity to kick-start the next important phase of global CO2 emissions reduction through support of the developing CO2 Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS) & Clean Hydrogen Economy. Many of these clean technologies have been proven at industrial scale and implementation has started. Still, commercial projects will continue to need financial incentives for broad deployment that will enable accelerated technology maturation and reductions in project risk and cost. With the support from COVID-19 stimulus packages, the private sector will be able to execute CCUS & Clean Hydrogen projects in the near-term, secure and create jobs, grow the economy and mitigate the risk of “green swan” climate change events through significant CO2 emissions reduction.