Nutrien Plans to Construct World's Largest Clean Ammonia Production Plant

Published on: 19 May 2022 01:55 PM
by KnowESG

Nutrien, the leading crop inputs and services provider, is considering building the world's largest clean ammonia facility in Geismar, Louisiana. The company's expertise in low-carbon ammonia production will be used to produce clean ammonia with cutting-edge technology to reduce CO2 emissions by at least 90%.

The project will move forward to the front-end engineering design phase (FEED), with a final investment decision expected in 2023. Construction on the $2 billion facility would begin in 2024 if approved, with production anticipated in 2027.

To meet expanding demand in agriculture, industrial, and emerging energy sectors, the new clean ammonia plant would use low-cost natural gas, tidewater access to world markets, and high-quality carbon capture and sequestration infrastructure at its current Geismar, LA site.

The project is expected to produce 1.2 million metric tonnes of clean ammonia per year and absorb at least 90% of CO2 emissions, permanently storing more than 1.8 million metric tonnes of CO2 in specialised geological storage per year. The new facility will use auto thermal reforming technology to have the lowest carbon footprint of any plant of this size, and with future improvements, it might achieve net-zero emissions.

Ken Seitz, Nutrien’s Interim President and CEO, said:

"Our commitment to the development and use of both low-carbon and clean ammonia is prominent in our strategy to provide solutions that will help meet the world’s decarbonization goals, while sustainably addressing global food insecurity. As part of our Feeding the Future Plan, leadership in clean ammonia production will play a key role in achieving our 2030 Scope 1 and 2 emissions reduction goals."

The company has inked a term agreement with Denbury Inc., a trustworthy partner for many years, that would allow for growth of the existing volume of carbon sequestration potential in the local neighbourhood of its Geismar facility.

Nutrien has also signed a Letter of Intent with Mitsubishi Corporation for up to 40% of the plant's estimated output to be delivered to the Asian fuel market, particularly Japan, after construction is completed.

Raef Sully, Nutrien’s Executive Vice President and CEO of Nitrogen and Phosphate, said:

"Nutrien is optimally positioned to supply global emerging clean ammonia markets and grow a pathway for a decarbonised supply chain. We are pleased to partner with Denbury on this initiative given our established track record of cooperation. It is another example of how we are building on our expertise in low-carbon ammonia to decarbonise the agriculture industry while helping to sustainably feed and fuel the future.”

Nutrien is committed to driving the development of low-carbon, clean ammonia to help hard-to-abate industries like agricultural, industrial ammonia use, power production, and maritime fuel rapidly decarbonise. 

The company signed a collaboration deal with EXMAR in 2021 to jointly develop and build one of the first low-carbon, ammonia-fueled maritime boats to help decarbonise shipping, as one of the world's major ammonia traders by marine transportation. It is also exploring flexible clean ammonia manufacturing using air, water, and variable renewable electricity with the US Department of Energy and other partners.