Announced today (June 15) OCI has made a final investment decision (FID) on its ammonia import terminal expansion project to facilitate emerging ammonia demand and to act as hub for hydrogen imported in the form of ammonia.

The planned expansion will develop the terminal under staged investment, with an initial phase to triple throughput capacity from the current 400 kilo-tonnes per year, to 1.2 million tonnes annually, by focusing on upgrading existing infrastructure.

In the expansion’s second phase, OCI will hope to increase its throughput to over three million tonnes per year. The company has already completed a basic engineering package for the construction of a new ammonia tank, as well as plans to upscale the terminal’s jetty infrastructure to achieve this.

H2 View understands OCI plans to commence permitting activities for its second phase in 2022, in the hope of increasing capacity as demand for clean ammonia and hydrogen develops in the medium-term.

Ammonia, a compound made up of hydrogen and nitrogen, has been identified as one of the best carriers for hydrogen transport, as it can be liquified more easily than pure hydrogen.

In the UK, the North West Hydrogen Alliance (NWHA) believes that ammonia could ramp up the country’s low-carbon hydrogen production.

Read more:  Report finds use of ammonia could increase hydrogen use in UK

Ahmed El-Hoshy, CEO of OCI N.V., said, “We are pleased to announce this milestone, enhancing a key ammonia import and future bunkering hub and aggregation point for low-carbon ammonia at a world-scale port, which will serve as an important avenue for clean ammonia imports from our global facilities and addresses current and future European hydrogen deficit needs.

“This vital piece of the global value chain will provide essential ammonia to keep downstream fertiliser plants running today in this volatile global natural gas environment, and in the future will also offer low carbon ammonia to feed the Dutch and wider European hydrogen needs in power generation, marine fuels, and broader industrial value chains, thereby reducing dependence on fossil fuels.”

The terminal upscaling comes after the Port of Rotterdam said in May 2022, it could supply Europe with 4.6 megtonnes of hydrogen annually by 2030, through production and imports, to meet the European Commission’s REPowerEU targets of importing 10 million tonnes of hydrogen.

Read more: Port of Rotterdam could be situated to provide 4.6 megatonnes of hydrogen annually by 2030

Allard Castelein, CEO at Port of Rotterdam, commented, “OCI’s decision to invest in tripling its ammonia import capacity in Rotterdam perfectly fits our plans. Our ambition is to be a carbon neutral port in 2050.

“Ammonia is not only a hydrogen carrier and a feedstock for the chemical industry, it’s also an important renewable fuel for the shipping sector. To be able to bunker ammonia, steps such as OCI’s need to be implemented to increase the base.”

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