Adnoc has signed a preliminary agreement with Germany’s North Rhine-Westphalia and Currenta, a chemical industry services provider, to explore opportunities for the creation of a low-carbon ammonia value chain.
The primary focus of the agreement will be the production and transportation of low-carbon ammonia and its application as a fuel in energy generation, including industrial-scale testing at Currenta’s site in Dormagen, Germany, Adnoc said in a statement on Monday.
Ammonia, a compound of nitrogen and hydrogen, can be used as a low-carbon fuel across industrial applications, including transportation, power generation, and industries including steel, cement and fertiliser production.
"Our fast-growing ammonia business is enabled by the UAE’s abundant and competitive energy resources," said Musabbeh Al Kaabi, executive director of low carbon solutions and international growth directorate at Adnoc.
"Adnoc is committed to meeting the growing global demand for lower-carbon intensity energy."
The state oil company has already invested in low-carbon ammonia, where the carbon dioxide emitted during production is captured and stored underground.
In May 2021, Adnoc also announced a million tonnes per year low-carbon ammonia production facility at the Ta'ziz industrial hub in Ruwais.
In January, Adnoc also signed a preliminary agreement with the engineering unit of Germany's Thyssenkrupp to create new markets for hydrogen and explore the development of projects for large-scale ammonia cracking.
The company has also expanded its energy partnerships across the hydrogen value chain.
Adnoc shipped its first low-carbon ammonia cargo to Germany in September last year and has also sent demonstration cargoes to customers in Asia.
"We will do our utmost to expand the capacities for the generation of renewable energies and for the production of other climate-neutral energy carriers such as green hydrogen in this country as much as possible," said Mona Neubaur, Deputy Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia and State Minister for Economics, Industry, Climate Protection and Energy.
"However, it is also clear that we will have to import various green energy sources in large quantities in order to cover our needs and to achieve our climate protection goals. We are now building partnerships and a broad import infrastructure to supply our industry. The basis for our co-operations is diversification with many countries.”
Power plants could potentially use 100 million tonnes of low-carbon ammonia as feedstock by 2050, according to Wood Mackenzie.
It is also used to transport hydrogen over long distances.
"Ammonia has the potential to play an important role in decarbonisation, for example, as a hydrogen carrier, or as a fuel in heat generation," said Frank Hyldmer, chief executive of Currenta.
"As a chemical park operator with large steam and heat generation plants, Currenta is observing very closely to see whether it succeeds in realising this potential. An important factor here is the development of global supply chains for ammonia."