Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi will develop a green ammonia plant, with up to $1 billion invested over the coming years.
Helios Industry, a private special projects company, will develop the plant in two phases alongside local and international partners.
The project, which will be powered by an 800-megawatt solar power plant within Kizad, is expected to produce 200,000 tonnes of green ammonia from 40,000 tonnes of green hydrogen.
“The adoption of sustainability and green technology has gained significant traction within the GCC and greater Mena region over the past few years,” said Abdullah Al Hameli, head of industrial cities and the free zone cluster at Abu Dhabi Ports.
Kizad is a 410-square-kilometre industrial zone next to Abu Dhabi’s Khalifa Port, which began operations in 2012. It is a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Ports, which is owned by state holding company ADQ.
The green ammonia project will use solar energy to electrolyse water to split it into hydrogen and oxygen. The first phase of the development will have a capacity of 100MW.
The project at Kizad is one of two sustainable ammonia plants being developed in Abu Dhabi.
On Monday, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company announced the development of a massive blue ammonia project at its downstream centre in Ruwais as it looks to expand the UAE’s hydrogen economy. It will have a capacity of 1,000 kilotonnes a year.
The blue ammonia facility is currently in the design phase and will be built within the Ta’ziz industrial complex at Ruwais. Ta'ziz is a $5bn joint venture between Adnoc and ADQ.
Green and blue ammonia are convenient methods to easily store and transport hydrogen.
Blue hydrogen is a by-product of carbon dioxide that has been captured and stored. It is derived from natural gas feedstocks.
Hydrogen, a clean-burning fuel with no carbon emissions, can be obtained by reconverting green or blue ammonia into gas to use in applications such as fuel cells for cars.
The latest development is part of a pivot by Gulf oil exporters towards the export of new forms of energy.
The UAE, Oman, and Saudi Arabia have all announced ambitious ammonia production projects over the past year.
Conventional ammonia production is an energy-intensive process and accounts for 3 per cent of carbon emissions worldwide.
It also takes up to 2 per cent of energy consumption and accounts for up to 5 per cent of global gas consumption.
“Caring for the environment is a shared responsibility. We are committed to pioneering investment and development efforts to produce sustainable and clean energy for the future in the UAE,” said M K Saiyed, managing director of Helios Industry, which is developing the green ammonia plant.
The green ammonia plant could slash carbon dioxide emissions by more than 600,000 tonnes annually.
The emissions offset by the green ammonia plant are equal to the pollution generated by 140,000 vehicles.
The decarbonisation of the ammonia production process is an integral part of the global transition to net-zero emissions by 2050.