Netherlands-headquartered global provider of hydrogen products OCI N.V. announced on 7 December that construction is starting on what will be the largest blue ammonia facility in Texas. Wholly owned by OCI N.V., the facility is slated to produce 1.1 mtpa of blue ammonia.
The groundbreaking on 7 December 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 total investment cost for OCI is 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.
The facility will enable the capture and sequestration of up to 1.7 million metric tons of CO2 per year.
Ahmed El-Hoshy, Chief Executive Officer of OCI N.V., commented: “The potential for clean ammonia to solve many of our global problems has become increasingly clear. It is not only an essential fertilizer that ensures food security for over 4 billion people, low-carbon ammonia is a clean fuel that provides an ideal solution available today for hard-to-abate sectors such as power and shipping.
“This world-scale facility will be a significant part of that, resulting in a very significant reduction in carbon emissions equivalent to taking almost half a million cars off the road permanently. The potential here is great and I’m delighted that breaking ground today signifies we’re on track to deliver on that.”
The project’s site is adjacent to OCI’s existing integrated 1.4 million metric ton per year methanol-ammonia production facility in Beaumont and 1.8 million metric ton per year 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.
Nassef Sawiris, Executive Chair of OCI N.V. said: “We are delighted that OCI is expanding its already significant presence in South-East Texas, a region which, as a clean energy leader and with its strategic location, plays a key role in the growing low-to-zero carbon hydrogen industry and is one of the best places globally to invest in this area. We look forward to continuing our partnerships with Jefferson County, the City of Beaumont, Beaumont ISD, the special districts, and the State of Texas.”
The ammonia plant uses KBR technology, and the EP (“Engineering and Procurement”) contract was awarded to Maire Tecnimont in March 2022.