Port of Rotterdam: large-scale ammonia cracker is planned

Port of Rotterdam: large-scale ammonia cracker is planned

An initiative of 18 companies, led by the Port of Rotterdam Authority, has kicked off a study into the possible establishment of a large-scale ammonia cracker, which will enable imports of 1 million tonnes of hydrogen per year for the decarbonization of industry and mobility.

Hydrogen and derivatives such as ammonia will play a key role in the energy transition to replace natural gas, as a raw material for industry and green chemistry, and to support sustainable transport. A large part of the hydrogen for North-West Europe will be imported, including in the form of ammonia, which is easier to ship than hydrogen.

Therefore participants of the initiative have commissioned Fluor to study possibilities for a large central cracking facility in the port area to convert imported ammonia back into 1 million tonnes of hydrogen per year. The hydrogen can then be used in the port or transported onward via pipelines to facilitate the decarbonization of other industrial clusters in North-West Europe. As a general rule, one million tonnes of green hydrogen can facilitate approximately 10 million tonnes of CO2 reductions.

Allard Castelein, CEO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority: “Europe will need large amounts of hydrogen to reach its climate objectives, and a significant share of this can be imported via the port of Rotterdam. Ammonia is one of the most efficient ways to transport hydrogen and by establishing one central ammonia cracker, we can save time, space, and resources to enable the imports of a million tonnes of hydrogen per year.”

In addition to the Port of Rotterdam Authority, the initiative also includes Air Liquide, Aramco, bp, Essent/ E.ON, ExxonMobil, Gasunie, GES, HES international, Koole Terminals, Linde, OCI, RWE, Shell, Sasol, Uniper, Vopak, and VTTI. The pre-feasibility study will look into the technical, economical, environmental, and safety requirements of a large cracking facility. First results of the study are expected in early 2023.

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