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OCI N.V. breaks ground on 1.1-MMtpy blue ammonia site in Texas

OCI N.V. announced that construction is starting on what will be the largest blue ammonia facility to come onstream in Texas, enabling the capture and sequestration of up to 1.7 MMtpy of CO2. The 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 on December 1, 2022, another significant milestone.

The total investment cost for OCI is expected to be below $1 B, including spending on upsized utilities and available land to allow for doubling to 2.2-MMtpy capacity in the future. 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 H2 production.

The area already has extensive existing H2 pipeline delivery infrastructure, H2 storage capability and industrial customers. Southeast Texas also has a wealth of companies leading in energy technology integration, deployment, operations, and maintenance, and a skilled labor force in clean energy.

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.”

Ahmed El-Hoshy, Chief Executive Officer of OCI N.V. said, “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.”

OCI will upgrade over-the-fence blue H2 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 engineering and procurement contract was awarded to Maire Tecnimont in March 2022.

Blue ammonia is produced from H2 derived from natural gas where the CO2 by-product is captured and sequestered. Green ammonia is produced from H2 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 H2 becomes available at larger scale.

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