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Ørsted to pioneer Netherlands green ammonia project powered by hydrogen and wind

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Credit: Photo by Waldemar Brandt on Unsplash
Norwegian chemical company Yara and Danish energy giant Ørsted have joined forces to develop a 100MW wind-powered electrolyzer plant for renewable hydrogen production.

The aim of the project is to replace fossil-based hydrogen with renewable hydrogen for ammonia production in Yara’s Sluiskil plant, located in the Dutch province of Zeeland.

The renewable hydrogen would generate around 75,000 tons of green ammonia per year – approximately 10% of the capacity of one of the ammonia plants in Sluiskil – based on dedicated renewable energy supply from Ørsted’s offshore wind farms.

The green ammonia is intended to be used in the production of carbon neutral fertilizer products, decarbonizing the food value chain, and also has potential as a future climate neutral shipping fuel.

Hydrogen produced from renewable energy sources offers a carbon-free alternative to fossil-based hydrogen but currently comes at a significantly higher cost.

Closing this cost gap takes time and will depend on public support to supplement private investments in large-scale renewable hydrogen and ammonia production.

Ørsted and Yara will therefore now seek public co-funding for the development and construction of the 100MW electrolyzer facility to support the project.

Subject to sufficient co-funding and a confirmed business case, a final investment decision to build the new plant could be taken late 2021 or early 2022.

Martin Neubert, executive vice president and CEO of Ørsted Offshore, said: “Ørsted is committed to investing in renewable hydrogen production at scale.

“With the right support in place this joint flagship project between Yara and Ørsted will not only lead to a significant reduction of CO2 emissions but also help mature the technology for the wider decarbonization of European industry.”

“Green ammonia can be essential to enable sustainable food production, in addition it is emerging as the most promising carbon neutral energy carrier for several energy applications, such as decarbonized shipping fuel.”

Terje Knutsen, executive vice president and head of Farming Solutions at Yara said that teaming up with Ørsted “represents a major step forward in enabling Yara to deliver on its strategic ambitions”.

With its abundant offshore wind resources and large hydrogen consumption centers in coastal areas, the Netherlands is seen as well-positioned to lead the way in the green transformation of heavy industry powered by offshore wind, while securing the competitiveness of key industrial sectors and creating economic activity and jobs.

This project can be a milestone on the hydrogen roadmap of the Smart Delta Resources cluster in Zeeland, and an important step in the scaling of renewable hydrogen in the Netherlands towards 3-4 GW by 2030.

This article was originally posted on Power Engineering International and was republished with permission.