Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) said on Thursday that its first ever shipment of low-carbon ammonia has left the UAE bound for Hamburg, Germany.
The demonstration cargo will be delivered to Aurubis, a global provider of non-ferrous metals and one of the largest copper recyclers worldwide, that has its headquarters in Hamburg, the company said in a statement.
On arrival in Germany, Hamburger Hafen und Logistik (HHLA), one of Europe’s leading logistics companies will handle the cargo.
Produced by Fertiglobe, a partnership between Adnoc and OCI, at its Fertil plant in Abu Dhabi’s Ruwais industrial complex, the demonstration cargo is the first of several test cargoes sold to customers in Germany as Adnoc expands its strategic energy partnership across the hydrogen value chain.
“This demonstration cargo of low-carbon ammonia builds upon the long-standing bilateral relationship between the UAE and Germany and our growing partnership in clean energy," Dr Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Adnoc managing director and group chief executive said.
"It highlights Adnoc’s expanding role as a trusted exporter of low-carbon fuels, as the UAE focuses on the industrial growth opportunities within the energy transition."
The cargo follows a number of similar low-carbon ammonia sales that have been made to customers in Asia. Adnoc sold its first shipment of blue ammonia to Japanese trading house Itochu in August last year followed by similar deals with Japan's Idemitsu and Inpex.
Aurubis plans to utilise the low-carbon ammonia as a feedstock in its wire rod plant, testing its application as an additional, lower-carbon energy source for industrial utilisation. The hydrogen it contains has the potential to be a low-carbon energy alternative for the energy-intensive processes in multi-metal production, Adnoc said.
“This first trial shipment of low-carbon ammonia from Adnoc represents an important milestone in our long-term vision for hydrogen solutions that will help meet our decarbonisation goals,” said Roland Harings, chief executive of Aurubis.
This shipment is another important milestone in the planned scale-up of hydrogen and low-carbon ammonia production capabilities in Abu Dhabi, where Adnoc is developing a new world-scale 1 million tonnes per annum low-carbon ammonia plant at Ta’ziz, the chemicals, industrial services and logistics hub in the Ruwais Industrial Complex, Adnoc said.
“It highlights Adnoc’s expanding role as a trusted exporter of low-carbon fuels, as the UAE focuses on the industrial growth opportunities within the energy transition,” Dr Al Jaber said.
During the visit of Robert Habeck, Germany’s Vice Chancellor and Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action to the UAE in March 2021, Adnoc signed agreements with a number of German companies to explore opportunities for collaboration in low-carbon and renewable hydrogen derivatives.
“Our collaboration with customers in Germany also underlines Adnoc’s ambitious growth plans for the production of clean hydrogen, and its carrier fuels such as ammonia, which will play a critical role in decarbonising hard-to-abate industrial sectors,” Dr Al Jaber said.
Germany’s national hydrogen strategy expects an import demand for clean hydrogen of approximately 3 million tons per annum (mtpa) by 2030 and up to 15 mtpa by 2050 when, according to research from the Hydrogen Council, hydrogen could meet up to 18 per cent of the world’s energy demand.
Building on its position as an early mover in the production of hydrogen, Adnoc plans to significantly grow its hydrogen production in support of the UAE’s ambition to supply up to 25 per cent of imported hydrogen in key global markets.
Low-carbon ammonia is the most promising at-scale hydrogen carrier and potential clean fuel for a wide range of applications, including transportation, power generation and industrial, including steel, cement, and fertiliser production. It is made from nitrogen and clean hydrogen derived from natural gas feedstocks, with the carbon dioxide by-product from hydrogen production captured and stored.