LONDON (ICIS)--Three Norwegian firms on Thursday signed a cooperation agreement for the development of Barents Blue, Europe’s first large-scale production facility for blue ammonia.
The trio include Equinor and Vår Energi, the two largest offshore oil and gas producers in the region, who would be among the natural gas suppliers to the low-carbon facility.
Together with carbon tech company Horisont Energi, the companies will look to move forward with a huge project featuring three process trains, each of which would produce around 1m tonnes/year of pure ammonia.
The development would potentially permanently store 2m tonnes/year of CO2, making Barents Blue "one of Norway’s largest environmental projects", the group said in a joint press release.
“This agreement means that we are now moving forward in the Barents Blue project with two industrial partners with a strong local presence," said Bjørgulf Haukelidsæter Eidesen, CEO of Horisont Energi.
"They have a long-term perspective and bring extensive experience with large and complex technical projects. This is a major step forward for Barents Blue."
Based on using natural gas to produce ammonia, which is a key industrial gas and a very efficient hydrogen carrier, Barents Blue's output could also help decarbonise parts of the maritime sector.
"During the production process in the Barents Blue ammonia plant, more than 99% of the CO2 in the process gas will be captured and permanently stored in the offshore Polaris reservoir," the statement added.
"The Polaris reservoir may have a storage capacity in excess of 100m tonnes, which is equivalent to twice Norway’s annual greenhouse gas emissions."