First commercial green ammonia plant to be built in Denmark

Monday, 14 December, 2020

First commercial green ammonia plant to be built in Denmark

Green ammonia, produced from renewable energy, is an excellent fuel and fertiliser that can potentially replace significant volumes of fossil fuels and help accelerate the transition to a world powered by renewable energy. A partnership of industry leaders now announces an ambition to realise this potential in 2022 with the world’s first green ammonia plant at the commercial scale of 10 MW power.

The project has been developed by Skovgaard Invest and Haldor Topsoe, a provider of catalysts, technology and services for the chemical and refining industries. The plant will be located in Western Jutland, Denmark, and will produce more than 5000 tonnes of green ammonia from renewable power annually. This production will prevent 8200 tonnes of CO2 from being emitted into the atmosphere every year.

12 MW of existing 2.0 MW Vestas wind turbines and 50 MW of new solar panels will power an electrolyser unit that will produce hydrogen which will subsequently be processed into ammonia. Such processes are commonly referred to as ‘Power-to-X’.

Green ammonia has huge potential in the global effort to substitute fossil fuels with sustainable alternatives. It has been highlighted as a superior green fuel for international shipping that currently accounts for around 2% of global energy-related CO2 emissions. Already today, ammonia is used as fertiliser globally and the production from fossil fuels accounts for around 1% of global CO2 emissions.

The cost of green ammonia is currently significantly higher than that of comparable ammonia from fossil fuel. To improve the business case and increase the attractiveness of green ammonia as a substitute for fossil fuels, Haldor Topsoe and Vestas are developing a dynamic, scalable and cost-optimised solution.

Haldor Topsoe will design the plant’s fully dynamic ammonia technology to secure optimal production and adapt to the inherent fluctuations in power output from wind turbines and solar panels. The ammonia plant will interface to a green hydrogen solution developed by Vestas, integrating electrolysis with wind and solar in one control system. In addition, the renewable energy generation will be connected directly to the national grid so surplus power can be sold to the grid.

When in operation, the project will deliver proof-of-concept and experience that can pave the way for larger Power-to-X projects in the future. The project has been specifically designed to provide the necessary know-how and operational experience in order to upscale the dynamic ammonia plant in new projects.

“This project proves to the world that we can produce a very clean fuel from renewable power at industrial scale as soon as in 2022,” said Kim Grøn Knudsen, Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer, Haldor Topsoe. “We have available the technologies we need to begin the transition towards renewable fuels and reduce carbon emissions, and with the innovations in this project, we push the limits for how fluctuating renewable energy is used in direct synthesis of clean fuels.”

“We expect this to be the first plant out of several in Western Jutland, where both existing and new onshore renewable power projects can deliver cheap renewable energy for Power-to-X applications,” said Jørgen Skovgaard from Skovgaard Invest. “In Skovgaard Invest, we have the ambition to develop more and larger Power-to-X projects in the region, and we see many potential off takers, for example within agriculture, the marine industry, and export potential out of nearby industrial harbours.”

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