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JM, thyssenkrupp Uhde to offer integrated ammonia tech solution

JM, thyssenkrupp Uhde to offer integrated ammonia tech solution
Johnson Matthey and thyssenkrupp Uhde combine expertise to offer integrated technology to produce low-carbon (blue) ammonia that is more climate-friendly than current production methods (photo courtesy thyssenkrupp Uhde).

UK-headed Johnson Matthey plc (JM), a global leader in sustainable technologies, and Germany-headed thyssenkrupp Uhde, a leading provider for engineering, construction, and service of chemical plants, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to jointly offer a fully integrated low carbon (blue) ammonia solution, building on a nearly 25-year ammonia relationship between the companies.

In the drive to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, the role of ammonia has expanded from a vital ingredient used to produce fertilizer for the agricultural sector, to a decarbonized carrier and supplier of hydrogen energy that’s easier to store and transport than pure hydrogen.

Increased demand

Global demand for ammonia is estimated to increase to more than 600 million tonnes by 2050 due to the new demands from shipping and power generation markets.

Low-carbon ammonia is predicted to meet two-thirds of the demand by 2050 with many countries around the world setting decarbonisation targets. This could mean an estimated market size for low-carbon ammonia of over US$200 billion by 2050, based on an average price of US$500 per tonne of ammonia and a low-carbon ammonia market of 420 million tonnes by 2050.

The movement of low-carbon ammonia can utilize existing infrastructure making it a leading energy transition solution, ready to capture, store, and ship vast quantities of hydrogen for use in the power and shipping sector, and industrial value chains globally.

A joint offering

By joining forces thyssenkrupp Uhde and JM can access the blue ammonia market together offering proven technologies combining the “uhde” ammonia process and JM’s hydrogen expertise through its “LCH” technology, which will enable the production of blue ammonia with up to 99 percent CO2 capture.

thyssenkrupp Uhde has licensed, engineered, or constructed over 130 ammonia plants worldwide since 1928 and is market-leading in plants greater than 3,000 tonnes per day with its unique uhde dual pressure technology.

At thyssenkrupp Uhde, we are committed to our purpose, ‘we create a livable planet’. With this strong partnership, we further broaden our portfolio of climate-friendly solutions and can help our customers even better to reach their sustainability goals, said Lucretia Löscher, COO at thyssenkrupp Uhde.

JM’s LCH technology, which utilizes JM’s auto-thermal reformer alone, or in conjunction with JM’s gas-heated reformer, has been selected for several of the world’s first large-scale blue hydrogen projects including bp’s H2Teesside, a 700 MW low carbon hydrogen production plant, and the H2H Saltend project with Equinor and Linde for a 600 MW low carbon hydrogen production plant.

We know multiple routes are needed in the energy transition, and ammonia provides several options because it can be used directly in power and shipping industries, and as a hydrogen carrier to safely transport hydrogen to areas where it is not easy to produce. Combining our expertise and over two decades’ worth of partnership with thyssenkrupp Uhde, we are excited to offer this technology which will allow our customers to produce ammonia with significantly lower CO2 emissions, said Alberto Giovanzana, Managing Director – CT Licensing at Johnson Matthey.

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