The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and Fertiglobe announced the signing of an agreement for the latter to join the blue ammonia production project within the Tazeez industrial system in Ruwais, Abu Dhabi.
The agreement contributes to strengthening the UAE’s efforts in the field of hydrogen by benefiting from ADNOC’s leading expertise in the field of carbon capture and storage, and Fertiglobe’s global capabilities in the field of ammonia, to develop the first project of its kind to produce blue ammonia in the Middle East and North Africa region.
The project takes advantage of its location in the “Tazez” area for chemical industries, near the Ruwais petrochemical complex, to obtain raw materials for nitrogen and hydrogen. Completion of the agreement is subject to meeting the customary terms and conditions and obtaining approvals from all relevant regulatory authorities.
Since its launch in November 2020, “Taziz” projects and the investment opportunities they offer have attracted great interest from local and international investors. Today’s agreement represents the first participation of an international investor in “Tazez” projects, more of which are expected to be announced soon.
His Excellency Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, Managing Director and CEO of ADNOC and its group of companies, said: “In line with the vision of the wise leadership to promote industrial and economic growth, this agreement represents an important step in the field of hydrogen and blue ammonia production and building an industrial system.” World-class competitiveness in Ruwais. This agreement is one of the fruits of the solid foundation that ADNOC has been able to build in this field through Fertiglobe.”
He added: “Hydrogen and its carrier fuels, such as ammonia, offer promising potential as zero-carbon energy sources. The blue ammonia project will contribute to advancing the UAE’s efforts in the field of hydrogen, enabling us to meet the emerging global demand for this new fuel and consolidating the position of “promoting” a global center for the production of chemicals, an integrated industrial system and a leading destination for local and international investment.
The two companies will issue and award design contracts for engineering works and preliminary designs for the project. In parallel, ADNOC will conduct a feasibility study on blue ammonia. The final investment decision for the project is expected in 2022, with the project starting to operate in 2025.
For his part, Nassef Sawiris, Executive Chairman of OCINNV and CEO of Fertiglobe, said: “I am pleased to expand our partnership with ADNOC through this new project, which is fully in line with our strategy to reduce carbon emissions in our regional projects. and globalization, and to take advantage of the huge potential that we anticipate that ammonia will provide in the context of the accelerated global transition to clean energy and as an enabler of the hydrogen economy. This move also helps us expand our portfolio of clean, low-carbon fuels, which includes our fast-growing biofuel projects, our recently announced 365,000 tons per year blue ammonia capacity in Texas, and strengthens OCI’s position. and Fertiglobe, the world leader in ammonia.
He added: “Ammonia is a clean, versatile, hydrogen-carrying substance with many applications in the field of fuel, in addition to its uses in a variety of fertilizers, and industrial uses in refining and petrochemicals. The use of ammonia as a fuel for cargo ships is a promising possibility, especially as it represents, along with methanol, the only viable alternative to long-distance shipping to reduce carbon emissions in a low-cost manner. Thus, this project contributes to providing promising growth opportunities for Fertiglobe that will enhance its leading position in the market.”
Blue ammonia is made from nitrogen and “blue” hydrogen from natural gas, where hydrocarbons are converted to hydrogen and then to ammonia, with the associated carbon dioxide emissions captured. Ammonia can be used as a low-carbon fuel in a wide range of industrial processes, including transportation, electricity generation, and industries such as steel, cement and fertilizer production. The production capacity of the blue ammonia project will reach one million metric tons per year.
The blue ammonia project benefits from ADNOC’s competitive advantages as a major producer and manager of large reserves of natural gas, as well as from its leadership in technology to capture carbon as a by-product of industrial processes and use and store it rather than release it to the atmosphere.
Today, ADNOC operates Al Reyadah, the first commercial CO2 capture, use and storage facility in the Middle East. Al Riyada can capture 800,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually from local iron and steel production in the UAE.
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