OCI breaks ground on blue ammonia site in Texas
OCI N.V. announced that construction is starting on what currently will be the largest blue ammonia facility to come onstream in Texas, wholly owned by OCI N.V. Today’s groundbreaking puts the project on track for production to begin as scheduled in 2025. The project also received its air permit from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) on 1 December 2022, another significant milestone.
The project’s site is adjacent to OCI’s existing integrated 1.4 million metric ton per year methanol-ammonia production facility in Beaumont and 1.8 million metric ton per year 50%-owned methanol joint venture, Natgasoline, and leverages the significant and growing capabilities that exist in Southeast Texas for blue and green ammonia and hydrogen production. The area already has extensive existing hydrogen pipeline delivery infrastructure, hydrogen storage capability and industrial customers. South East Texas also has a wealth of companies leading in energy technology integration, deployment, operations, and maintenance, and a skilled labor force in clean energy.
Nassef Sawiris, Executive Chair of OCI N.V. said: “We are delighted that OCI is expanding its already significant presence in South-East Texas, a region which, as a clean energy leader and with its strategic location, plays a key role in the growing low-to-zero carbon hydrogen industry and is one of the best places globally to invest in this area. We look forward to continuing our partnerships with Jefferson County, the City of Beaumont, Beaumont ISD, the special districts, and the State of Texas.”
Ahmed El-Hoshy, Chief Executive Officer of OCI N.V., commented: “The potential for clean ammonia to solve many of our global problems has become increasingly clear. It is not only an essential fertilizer that ensures food security for over 4 billion people, low-carbon ammonia is a clean fuel that provides an ideal solution available today for hard-to-abate sectors such as power and shipping. This world-scale facility will be a significant part of that, resulting in a very significant reduction in carbon emissions equivalent to taking almost half a million cars off the road permanently. The potential here is great and I’m delighted that breaking ground today signifies we’re on track to deliver on that.”
OCI will upgrade “over-the-fence” blue hydrogen to produce blue ammonia, where over 95% of carbon emissions will be captured and sequestered. This allows OCI to materially reduce the carbon intensity of its products for downstream customers along the value chain, resulting in carbon footprint reductions across a wide range of industries including transportation, power, manufacturing and agriculture.
The ammonia plant uses KBR technology and the EP (“Engineering and Procurement”) contract was awarded to Maire Tecnimont in March 2022.
Blue ammonia is produced from hydrogen derived from natural gas where the CO2 by-product is captured and sequestered. Green ammonia is produced from hydrogen based on renewable sources such as wind and solar rather than fossil fuels. This project has been designed to transition from blue to green ammonia production in the future as green hydrogen becomes available at larger scale.
OCI is also continuing its investments in the future talent of the area. OCI recently announced a $200k donation to the Beaumont Independent School District to develop opportunities to expand STEM education for students, continuing its long-term partnership with the school district.