Low-Carbon Ammonia Production And Export Project Planned For Houston Ship Channel

First Phase Is Targeted To Produce More Than 1.1 Million MTPA Of Low-Carbon Ammonia By The End Of 2027

Houston Ship Channel

Tokyo-based INPEX Corp. (INPEX), Paris-based Air Liquide Group (Air Liquide), Oklahoma City-based LSB Industries Inc. (LSB), and Houston-based Vopak Moda Houston LLC (Vopak Moda) have agreed to collaborate on the pre-front end engineering and design (FEED) for the development of a large-scale, low-carbon ammonia production and export project on the Houston Ship Channel. If the development proceeds, the project’s first phase is targeted to produce more than 1.1 million MTPA of low-carbon ammonia by the end of 2027, with options for future expansions.

The parties completed a feasibility study on the project earlier this year and the preferred facility’s location on the Houston Ship Channel, the second largest petrochemical corridor in the world, leverages existing infrastructure assets. Vopak Moda has invested in storage and handling infrastructure for bulk liquid products and currently operates an ammonia terminal that includes storage tanks and a newbuild dock with multiple deep-water berths. The project also has access to utilities and would be near multiple pipelines that could supply raw materials like natural gas and water.

The project partners will bring complementary expertise to the production, operation, storage, and export for the advancement of low-carbon ammonia production in the United States.

Air Liquide and INPEX will collaborate on low-carbon hydrogen production. Air Liquide will supply its autothermal reforming (ATR) technology, a solution for large-scale hydrogen production projects, combined with its proprietary carbon capture technology.

In the ATR process, natural gas is converted with oxygen and steam into syngas molecules at high temperature. The reaction with oxygen generates the heat required to “break” the methane molecules. With a further simple shift reaction step, hydrogen and carbon dioxide (CO2) are obtained. The combination of ATR technology with carbon capture aims to capture at least 95% of direct CO2 emissions from hydrogen production with at least 1.6 MTPA of CO2 captured and permanently sequestered from this project.

Air Liquide will also be responsible for on-site nitrogen and oxygen production, using its proprietary Air Separation Unit technology.

LSB and INPEX will collaborate on low-carbon ammonia production. LSB will lead the selection of the ammonia loop technology provider, the pre-FEED, and the engineering, procurement, and construction of the facility. LSB will also be responsible for the day-to-day operation of the ammonia loop.

INPEX and LSB will sell the low-carbon ammonia and finalize off-take agreements with the numerous parties that have expressed interest and could also further partner in the project. Most of the product will be used for power generation in Asia with some volumes going to Europe and the United States. INPEX, with stakes in both hydrogen and ammonia production, will likely be the largest investor in the overall project across the entire value chain, from production to export.

Vopak Moda currently operates ammonia storage and handling infrastructure from its deepwater berth the Houston Ship Channel. Vopak Moda will maintain its ownership of the existing infrastructure and plans to build additional storage capacity as required to handle the low-carbon ammonia production of the proposed new facility.