OCI NV will start constructing a world-scale 1.1 million tonnes/year blue ammonia project in Beaumont, Texas, based on KBR technology.
The passage of the US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and the enhanced 45Q credits in the Act strengthened the attractiveness of this project.
The US Gulf is a strategic location that allows the facility to serve both the US market and export clean ammonia as a hydrogen carrier to hydrogen deficit markets around the world, such as Europe and Asia, as well as catering for expected significant demand from new applications including power and shipping fuels. The blue ammonia will be delivered to customers using future zero-carbon ammonia-fueled engine ships, leveraging OCI’s global infrastructure.
The project is well underway, with detailed engineering and procurement work starting earlier this year and production targeted for Q1 2025. The project has been awarded to Maire Tecnimont on an EP (Engineering & Procurement) basis, critical long-lead pieces of equipment have been ordered, and site works are scheduled to start in the coming weeks.
Capital expenditure is expected to be within OCI’s guidance of up to $450 million growth Capex for the Group in 2023, as highlighted in the Q1 2022 results report. Utilities and available land have been sized to allow for a doubling capacity by adding an additional 1.1 million tons per annum blue ammonia line in the future.
In June, OCI announced a tripling of throughput capacity at its Port of Rotterdam ammonia import terminal to 1.2 million tonnes/year by 2023 to serve emerging ammonia demand for bunkering to ocean-going vessels and act as a hub to help decarbonize the EU and reduce its reliance on imported natural gas. The new facility is also positioned to supply blue ammonia to OCI’s plants in the Netherlands.
The company is currently running its ammonia production platform at c.40% of its 1.2 million tonnes/year maximum capacity in the Netherlands due to the high gas prices but can operate value-added downstream production and continue to address food security concerns with support from imported ammonia.
Nassef Sawiris, Executive Chairman of OCI NV, said, “The recent passage of the IRA, which bolsters the regulatory framework and competitiveness of clean ammonia in the US, in addition to technological developments in carbon sequestration, is supporting ammonia as a key driver of the energy transition.”
Ahmed El-Hoshy, CEO of OCI NV, noted, “Alongside our existing blue and green ammonia projects in the US and the Netherlands, at Fertiglobe in the Middle East & North Africa, and our green methanol business, this facility will allow us to continue to build and strengthen our world-leading ammonia and clean fuels platform.”