Danish power company Ørsted and Norweigan fertiliser manufacturer Yara are jointly developing a 100MW wind-powered electrolyser plant aimed at replacing fossil hydrogen with renewable hydrogen in the production of ammonia.
The pioneering project has the potential to abate more than 100,000 tonnes of CO2 per year – equivalent to taking 50,000 conventional cars off the road – and it could be operational in 2024/2025.
To be located at Yara’s Sluiskil plant in the Dutch province of Zeeland, the renewable hydrogen would generate around 75,000 tonnes 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 wind farms.
Ørsted is about to inaugurate its Borssele 1&2 offshore wind farm, the second biggest in the world, located off the coast of Zeeland close to the Sluiskil plant.
The green ammonia is intended to be used in the production of carbon neutral fertiliser products, decarbonising 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, the two companies said in a statement.
Ørsted and Yara will therefore now seek public co-funding for the development and construction of the 100MW electrolyser 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.
“Ørsted is committed to investing in renewable hydrogen production at scale, and 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 decarbonisation of European industry,” said Martin Neubert, Executive Vice-President and CEO of Ørsted Offshore.
Terje Knutsen, Executive Vice-President and Head of Farming Solutions in Yara, added, “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 decarbonised shipping fuel.”