Ammonia plant to produce renewable hydrogen

Photo: Yarra Pilbara Fertilisers

Yara Pilbara Fertilisers has been awarded $995,000 for a feasibility study to explore the potential to produce renewable hydrogen at industrial scale at its liquid ammonia production facility in the Pilbara, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced.

The renewable hydrogen produced at the $700 million liquid ammonia production facility will displace 30,000 tonnes per year of hydrogen which Yara currently derives from fossil fuels. The blended hydrogen will subsequently be converted to ammonia with a lower carbon footprint and sold for further processing into domestic and international markets.

“Yara’s project will offer great insight into how Australia’s current ammonia producers can transition away from the use of fossil fuels towards renewable alternatives for producing hydrogen while continuing to leverage the substantial export capabilities that those companies have already established,” ARENA CEO, Darren Miller, said.

“This project will support future investment in renewable hydrogen from our largest producers, which in turn will provide the economies of scale required to produce renewable hydrogen and ammonia at a competitive price for export.”

Miller said the feasibility study was a step towards decarbonising the mining and ammonia production sectors in Western Australia.

Yara currently produces and exports approximately five per cent of the world’s ammonia production out of its existing facility in the Pilbara. The project will utilise Yara’s established trade partnerships and market expertise to export renewable hydrogen as ammonia from WA.

In the long term, Yara is aiming to produce hydrogen and ammonia entirely through renewable energy. The study will be the first step on the path to achieving commercial scale production of renewable hydrogen for export.

Yara will collaborate with global energy company ENGIE to deliver the feasibility study. ENGIE has a dedicated hydrogen business unit focused on developing industrial-scale renewable-based hydrogen solutions in international markets.