Grassroots 1.1-MMtpy blue ammonia project breaks ground in Texas

OCI N.V. broke ground on what will become the largest blue ammonia facility of its kind in Texas (U.S.).

  • Largest blue ammonia facility of its kind in Texas, enabling the capture and sequestration of up to 1.7 million metric tons per year of CO2
  • Total investment cost for OCI expected to be below $1 billion, including spending on upsized utilities and available land to allow for doubling to 2.2 mtpa capacity in the future
  • Project builds on OCI’s existing US nitrogen and methanol facilities, while supporting food security, US energy independence and contributing to Texas’ objectives of building a clean energy hub
  • New facility will support around 60-80 new full-time jobs, as well as around 1,000 construction jobs at the peak of site construction for the OCI scope
  • Project is on track for start production in 2025: site preparation work is near complete, construction activities are commencing and air permit has been received

OCI N.V. announced that construction is starting on what currently will be the largest blue ammonia facility to come onstream in Texas, wholly owned by OCI N.V. This groundbreaking puts the project on track for production to begin as scheduled in 2025. The project also received its air permit from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) on 1 December 2022, another significant milestone.

The project’s site is adjacent to OCI’s existing integrated 1.4 MMtpy methanol-ammonia production facility in Beaumont and 1.8 MMtpy 50%-owned methanol joint venture, Natgasoline, and leverages the significant and growing capabilities that exist in Southeast Texas for blue and green ammonia and hydrogen production. The area already has extensive existing hydrogen pipeline delivery infrastructure, hydrogen storage capability and industrial customers. South East Texas also has a wealth of companies leading in energy technology integration, deployment, operations, and maintenance, and a skilled labor force in clean energy.

OCI will upgrade “over-the-fence” blue hydrogen to produce blue ammonia, where over 95% of carbon emissions will be captured and sequestered. This allows OCI to materially reduce the carbon intensity of its products for downstream customers along the value chain, resulting in carbon footprint reductions across a wide range of industries including transportation, power, manufacturing and agriculture.

The ammonia plant uses KBR technology and the EP (“Engineering and Procurement”) contract was awarded to Maire Tecnimont in March 2022.

Blue ammonia is produced from hydrogen derived from natural gas where the CO2 by-product is captured and sequestered. Green ammonia is produced from hydrogen based on renewable sources such as wind and solar rather than fossil fuels. This project has been designed to transition from blue to green ammonia production in the future as green hydrogen becomes available at larger scale.

OCI is also continuing its investments in the future talent of the area. OCI recently announced a $200k donation to the Beaumont Independent School District to develop opportunities to expand STEM education for students, continuing its long-term partnership with the school district.

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