Three leading energy companies today signed a joint development agreement (JDA) that will enable a multibillion-dollar investment in a ‘world-scale’ green hydrogen-fuelled ammonia production facility in Oman.
Announced today, 26th May, the deal comes after a Memorandum of Understanding signed last year.
The project will see Air Products joining forces with ACWA Power and OQ to realise a facility that harnesses renewable power from solar, wind, and storage to aid in the production of green hydrogen, nitrogen, and green ammonia.
Green hydrogen – hydrogen generated through renewable-powered electrolysis – is set to play a key role in decarbonising hard-to-abate industry, helping to reduce the reliance on high emission, fossil-based fuels.
Often labelled a ‘fuel of the future’, green ammonia is produced by feeding green hydrogen and nitrogen separated from air into the sustainably powered Haber process, during which the gases react together at high temperatures and pressures.
Planned to be developed at Oman’s Salalah Free Zone, the project bears similarities to a green hydrogen project being implemented by Air Products and its partners in NEOM in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Commenting on the company’s ambitions to scale up green hydrogen, Seifi Ghasemi, Chairman, President, CEO, Air Products, said, “We look forward to applying our know-how, technology and more than 60 years of experience in hydrogen to help move this project forward and take another significant step in decarbonising the world.”
Over the past year various companies have expressed interest in developing and pursuing green ammonia opportunities.
In January, Linde Engineering announced that it plans to develop a 24MW (megawatt) green hydrogen plant in Norway for chemicals company Yara.
Hydrogen from the plant will be enough to create 20,500 tonnes of ammonia annually, capable of being converted to between 60,000 and 80,000 tonnes of green fertiliser.
The production of green fertiliser could help mitigate crippled ammonia trade flows as a result of the war in Ukraine, which have been placing enormous strain on the global fertiliser supply chain.
Speaking at gasworld’s Europe CO2 Summit 2022, Jennifer Willis-Jones of Fertiliser Week explained, “The war in Ukraine has crippled ammonia trade flows from the region.”
“There are two ports, the Baltic Sea Port and the Black Sea ports. The Black Sea port is using the port in Ukraine, this is extremely important for ammonia.”
“Ammonia prices are set to skyrocket further. There’s a lot of upwards pressure on ammonia prices at the moment,” she added.
By driving the transition towards a greener future using nascent technologies to produce clean fuels such as green ammonia, the deal has the potential to increase supply and meet rising demand, in addition to helping decarbonise industry.
“Oman continues to be a key market for ACWA Power for its potential, resources, and location, making it a tremendous enabler for the production of green hydrogen,” commented Mohammad A. Abunayyan, Chairman, ACWA Power.
“The signing of the joint development agreement is another milestone and signifies the continued trust being placed in ACWA Power by all our partners in bringing this ambitious project to life.”