Taqa, Abu Dhabi Ports mull green hydrogen to ammonia project

Richard Ewing

07-Jul-2021

LONDON (ICIS)–Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA) and Abu Dhabi Ports on Wednesday announced plans to develop an industrial scale green hydrogen to ammonia export project in the United Arab Emirates.

The pair signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD) and Khalifa Port as an export hub for green hydrogen and its derivatives – like green ammonia – to international markets.

The new plant would be fuelled by hydrogen produced by an electrolyzer facility paired with a 2GW solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant.

The green hydrogen would be turned into liquid ammonia to supply ships converted to use ammonia as a bunker fuel and for export from Abu Dhabi Ports via specialised gas carriers.

The scale of investment for such a project and a potential timescale for its development were not disclosed.

Ammonia, which is relatively easier to transport than pure hydrogen, has various industrial uses and can also be easily turned back into hydrogen, the pair noted in a press release.

“The TAQA-Abu Dhabi Ports project will also feature a storage facility at Khalifa Port, opening the opportunity for it to become a hub for exporting green ammonia to international markets including Europe and the East Asia,” the statement continued.

“The solar farm, electrolyser and the ammonia production plant will be situated in KIZAD. The ammonia plant will have pipeline connectivity to the Khalifa Port storage facility enabling large volumes of ammonia to be directly delivered to the port.”

Jasim Husain Thabet, TAQA Group CEO and managing director, noted green hydrogen relies on large-scale low carbon electricity production and desalinated water, two areas in which has company has valuable experience.

“We are pleased to have opened discussions with our partner Abu Dhabi Ports on developing proposals for a major industrial scale facility that, if it goes ahead, would place Abu Dhabi at the heart of the emerging market for green hydrogen,” he said.

Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Group CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports, added: “This potential collaboration aims to address regional and global green energy needs, as well as supporting the goal of our nation’s leadership to position Abu Dhabi at the heart of the new emerging green energy market.”

Major economies, including countries in Europe and Asia, are investing heavily in decarbonisation in industry, global logistics including marine transport, heavy good vehicles, buses, trains and heating systems.

Green hydrogen can be used to power fuel cells or burned without emitting carbon dioxide and is widely expected to play an increasingly important part in enabling a low carbon future.

In late June, Dutch chemicals group OCI revealed its nitrogen fertilizer production arm Fertiglobe had signed an agreement with TA’ZIZ to join a world-scale blue ammonia production project at Ruwais in Abu Dhabi.

The project will be created in the purpose-built TA’ZIZ Industrial Chemicals Zone, adjacent to the Ruwais Industrial Complex which will supply hydrogen and nitrogen feedstocks.

The 1m tonne/year plant will be the first-of-its-kind large scale project in the Middle East and north Africa, with a final investment decision expected in 2022 and start-up targeted for 2025, OCI disclosed.

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