Siemens Gamesa partners up on green ammonia production
Renewable energy giant Siemens Gamesa has signed an agreement with an environmental group to look into the clean production of ammonia for energy storage.
In partnership with Denmark’s Energifonden Skive, the company will look to find an eco-friendly way of using ammonia to store surplus energy from wind turbines.
Ammonia, which is converted from nitrogen gas and then back into nitrates in soil as part of the natural nitrogen cycle, is traditionally produced using fossil fuels, with high emissions created as a result. The end project is often used in fertilisers or fuel for combustion engines, but also has further energy storage potential.
The research and development is to take place at the GreenLab Skive site in Denmark, with the size of the potential green ammonia facility yet to be outlined.
Jens Schiersing Thomsen, senior expert at Siemens Gamesa, stated: “In the green, sustainable energy supply chain, one of our biggest challenges will be storing and converting energy and resources.
“One solution may be the use of surplus wind-based electricity to produce eco-friendly ammonia. This solution would offer double benefit: using the surplus energy that arises in peak wind situations, and creating a new sustainable product we call green ammonia.”
Trafigura and Yara International explore clean ammonia usage
Reducing shipping emissions is a vital component of the fight against global climate change, yet Greenhouse Gas emissions from the global maritime sector are increasing - and at odds with the IMO's strategy to cut absolute emissions by at least 50% by 2050.
How more than 70,000 ships can decrease their reliance on carbon-based sources is one of transport's most pressing decarbonisation challenges.
Yara and Trafigura intend to collaborate on initiatives that will establish themselves in the clean ammonia value chain. Under the MoU announced today, Trafigura and Yara intend to work together in the following areas:
- The supply of clean ammonia by Yara to Trafigura Group companies
- Exploration of joint R&D initiatives for clean ammonia application as a marine fuel
- Development of new clean ammonia assets including marine fuel infrastructure and market opportunities
Magnus Krogh Ankarstrand, President of Yara Clean Ammonia, said the agreement is a good example of cross-industry collaboration to develop and promote zero-emission fuel in the form of clean ammonia for the shipping industry. "Building clean ammonia value chains is critical to facilitate the transition to zero emission fuels by enabling the hydrogen economy – not least within trade and distribution where both Yara and Trafigura have leading capabilities. Demand and supply of clean ammonia need to be developed in tandem," he said.
There is a growing consensus that hydrogen-based fuels will ultimately be the shipping fuels of the future, but clear and comprehensive regulation is essential, according to Jose Maria Larocca, Executive Director and Co-Head of Oil Trading for Trafigura.
Ammonia has a number of properties that require "further investigation," according to Wartsila. "It ignites and burns poorly compared to other fuels and is toxic and corrosive, making safe handling and storage important. Burning ammonia could also lead to higher NOx emissions unless controlled either by aftertreatment or by optimising the combustion process," it notes.
Trafigura has co-sponsored the R&D of MAN Energy Solutions’ ammonia-fuelled engine for maritime vessels, has performed in-depth studies of transport fuels with reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and has published a white paper on the need for a global carbon levy for shipping fuels to be introduced by International Maritime Organization.
Oslo-based Yara produces roughly 8.5 million tonnes of ammonia annually and employs a fleet of 11 ammonia carriers, including 5 fully owned ships, and owns 18 marine ammonia terminals with 580 kt of storage capacity – enabling it to produce and deliver ammonia across the globe.
It recently established a new clean ammonia unit to capture growth opportunities in emission-free fuel for shipping and power, carbon-free fertilizer and ammonia for industrial applications.