Photo: Illustration only; Courtesy of Nutrien

Nutrien wants to build world’s largest clean ammonia production facility in Louisiana

Canadian fertilizer company Nutrien is evaluating Geismar, Louisiana as the site to build the world’s largest clean ammonia facility producing 1.2 million tonnes of the fuel annually.

Nutrien wants to build world’s largest clean ammonia production facility in Louisiana
Illustration only; Courtesy of Nutrien

According to Nutrien, ammonia will be produced using innovative technology to achieve at least a 90 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions.

The project will proceed to the front-end engineering design (FEED) phase, with a final investment decision to follow in 2023. If approved, construction of the approximately $2 billion facility will begin in 2024, while being fully operational by 2027.

The new clean ammonia plant would leverage low-cost natural gas, tidewater access to world markets, and carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) infrastructure at its existing Geismar facility.

The plant is to have an annual production capacity of 1.2 million metric tonnes of clean ammonia and capture at least 90 per cent of CO2 emissions, permanently sequestering more than 1.8 million metric tonnes of CO2 per year. It will use auto thermal reforming technology to achieve the lowest carbon footprint of any plant at this scale. Also, it has the potential to transition to net-zero emissions with future modifications.

“Leadership in clean ammonia production will play a key role in achieving our 2030 Scope 1 and 2 emissions reduction goals, as part of our Feeding the Future Plan,” said Ken Seitz, Nutrien’s CEO.

The company has signed a term sheet with Denbury that would allow for expansion of the existing volume of carbon sequestration capability in the immediate vicinity of its Geismar facility.

Nutrien has also signed a letter of intent to collaborate with Mitsubishi Corporation for offtake of up to 40 per cent of expected production from the plant to deliver to the Asian fuel market, including Japan, once construction is complete.

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To remind, Nutrien announced in 2021 a collaboration agreement with Exmar to jointly develop and build one of the first low-carbon, ammonia-fueled maritime vessels to help decarbonize shipping.