Canadian Nutrien plans to build world’s largest clean ammonia facility in Louisiana

Mark Milam

18-May-2022

HOUSTON (ICIS)–Canadian fertilizer producer Nutrien announced it is evaluating Geismar, Louisiana as the site to build the world’s largest clean ammonia facility, which it estimates could achieve output of 1.2m tonnes/year.

The producer said the plan would build on the company’s expertise in low-carbon ammonia production and that clean ammonia will be manufactured using innovative technology to achieve at least a 90% reduction in CO2 emissions.

Nutrien said the project will proceed to the front-end engineering design (FEED) phase, with a final investment decision expected in 2023. If approved, construction of the approximately $2bn facility would begin in 2024 with full production expected by 2027.

The producer said the new clean ammonia plant would leverage low-cost natural gas, tidewater access to world markets, and high-quality carbon capture and sequestration infrastructure at its existing Geismar facility to serve growing demand in agriculture, industrial and energy markets.

The plant is expected to be able to permanently sequester more than 1.8m tonnes of CO2 in dedicated geological storage each year.

The company said the new plant will use auto thermal reforming technology to achieve the lowest carbon footprint of any plant at this scale and has the potential to transition to net-zero emissions with future modifications.

“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,” said Ken Seitz, Nutrien’s interim president and CEO.

“Leadership in clean ammonia production will play a key role in achieving our 2030 Scope 1 and 2 emissions reduction goals, as part of our Feeding the Future Plan.”

Nutrien said it has signed a term sheet with Denbury Inc. that would allow for expansion of the existing volume of carbon sequestration capability in the immediate vicinity at Geismar if selected as the final site of construction.

Nutrien has also signed a letter of intent to collaborate with Mitsubishi Corporation for offtake of up to 40% of expected production to deliver to the Asian fuel market, including Japan, once construction is complete.

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