BASF and Yara Clean Ammonia to Study US Project

04.07.2023 - BASF and Yara Clean Ammonia (YCA), a unit of Norwegian fertilizer producer Yara, have teamed up on a joint study to develop and build a world-scale low-carbon blue ammonia production facility with carbon capture in the US Gulf Coast region.

The companies said they are studying the feasibility of a plant with a total capacity of 1.2 to 1.4 million t/y to supply growing global demand for low-carbon ammonia and plan to complete the study by the end of this year.

The project foresees capturing and storing around 95% of the CO2 generated in the production process and permanently storing it underground. This would enable Yara to supply clean ammonia with a significantly reduced product carbon footprint.

BASF said the collaboration would be a step toward the goal of reducing its absolute CO2 emissions by 25% up to 2030 versus 2018 and achieving net zero CO2 emissions by 2050.

Additionally, the new plant would act as backward integration to meet the German group’s demand for low-carbon ammonia as well as lowering the carbon footprint of its ammonia-based products.

The two European companies are long-standing collaboration partners, together operating a joint world-scale ammonia plant at BASF’s site in Freeport, Texas.

Previously, Yara told the Reuters news agency it was considering two sites for a North American project that would take advantage of US subsidies and cheap natural gas to make blue ammonia and export it to Europe.

The product characteristics of blue ammonia are identical to conventionally produced ammonia, BASF notes. As the CO2 generated in the production process is captured and not released to the atmosphere, blue ammonia plays a “significant role” in the transition to alternative, less carbon-intensive products.

In related news, the fertilizer group said it has postponed a planned initial public offering of Yara Clean Ammonia by” one or two years,” due to an unsatisfactory market valuation.

Author: Dede Williams, Freelance Journalist