Saudi Aramco plans new green hydrogen, ammonia project

  • Market: Fertilizers, Hydrogen
  • 27/10/21

State-controlled energy giant Saudi Aramco has signed an initial agreement to build a new green hydrogen and ammonia plant with Hong Kong-based green hydrogen developer InterContinental Energy, as it tries to bring private investment into the sector.

The agreement also includes Saudi firm Modern Industrial Investment Holding, Aramco said today. No other details such as the size or location of the project were revealed.

Intercontinental Energy is already developing two huge hydrogen and ammonia plants in Australia and one in Oman.

The announcement was made during Saudi Arabia's Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh, just days after crown prince Mohammed bin Salman set a goal for the country to become net carbon neutral by 2060. Aramco itself aims to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across its wholly-owned operated assets a decade earlier.

Saudi Arabia is targeting hydrogen production — both blue and green — of 2.9mn t/yr by 2030 and 4mn t/yr by 2035. Its first green hydrogen project, at Neom in the country's northwest, will produce only 240,000 t/yr by 2025.

At the same time, Aramco is expanding its focus on emerging sectors to drive private-sector innovation and investment. Intercontinental Energy's hydrogen deal was among five initial agreements signed by Aramco covering nature-based solutions to reduce emissions, manufacturing advanced non-metallic building materials, and digital technologies for oil and gas applications.


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28/05/24

Singapore launches commercial methanol bunkering

Singapore launches commercial methanol bunkering

Singapore, 28 May (Argus) — Singapore has launched commercial-scale methanol bunkering at the Tuas port, after a successful run of its first simultaneous methanol bunkering and cargo operation (Simops) on 27 May. Bunkering operations for shore-to-ship, ship-to-ship, and simultaneous cargo operations while bunkering methanol or alternative fuels like ammonia and hydrogen, will now be available at the Port of Singapore, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) announced. This development comes after MPA's inaugural Simops of Singapore-based shipping firm X-Press Feeders' first dual-fuel engine container vessel. The Rotterdam-bound vessel was refuelled in Singapore with close to 300t of bio-methanol by MPA-licensed bunker supplier Global Energy Trading. The methanol bunkering occurred concurrently while vessel containers were restowed and loaded, and was supported by digitalisation of the bunkering process for near real-time visibility for various stakeholders. All crew members were trained to handle methanol as a marine fuel and respond to emergencies, given that safety remains a key consideration when bunkering alternative fuels. X-Press Feeders' vessel was the first of 14 dual-fuel vessels that it has ordered. The China-built vessel is equipped with a German-designed dual-fuel engine and has the flexibility to operate on green methanol. The firm plans to operate its green methanol-powered feeders mostly in the ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp-Bruges, where it has a fuel supply contract with chemical manufacturing firm OCI Global. "We look forward to working with other like-minded partners, including on the use of digital bunkering and mass flow meter solutions, to operationalise the delivery of the new marine fuels in Singapore," MPA chief executive Teo Eng Dih said. Singapore is steadily advancing towards its multi-fuel transition for maritime decarbonisation. Another ship-to-ship delivery of 1,340t of blended 20pc bio-methanol combined with 80pc of conventional methanol was completed on 24 May. The alternative fuel blend is reported to provide 31pc in CO2 equivalent savings on a tank-to-wake basis as compared to operating on conventional very-low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) for the same distance. The Argus -assessed price for VLSFO stood at $582.68/t delivered on board (dob) Singapore on 27 May, while prices for B24 were assessed at $720.50/t dob Singapore. By Cassia Teo Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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Hydrogen industry looks on the bright side


24/05/24
News
24/05/24

Hydrogen industry looks on the bright side

A tough year for clean hydrogen prospects is giving way to more optimism on projects and demand, writes Pamela Machado London, 24 May (Argus) — The clean hydrogen sector still lacks tangible progress and final investment decisions (FIDs) for projects remain few and far between, but it is reaching a moment of reckoning essential for market maturity, delegates at the World Hydrogen Summit in Rotterdam said this month. When asked whether they were more or less positive than a year ago, industry participants gave diverging answers, but there was widespread agreement that progress on clean hydrogen has been slower than expected in what one called "the year of doldrums". Increasing material and financing costs, the unstable geopolitical situation and a lack of clarity on regulatory frameworks are just some of the challenges developers have faced. This is a "grim environment if you were expecting the Swiss army knife approach" to work, industry body the Australia Hydrogen Council chief executive Fiona Simon said, alluding to the misguided expectation that hydrogen could be used across all sectors to help decarbonise. "We are coming to terms" with the real use and appropriate applications of hydrogen, Simon said, pointing to green steel production. "We are converging on the same concepts and same policies." The industry has reached the point where it is becoming a lot clearer which projects will actually materialise. A greater sense of realism is underpinning discussions, according to Dutch gas company Gasunie chief executive Willemien Terpstra. But delegates widely urged more policy action, especially on the demand side. Spurring on demand will be key to getting to more FIDs, Spanish utility Iberdrola's hydrogen development director, Jorge Palomar Herrero, said. "We can have great intentions and great projects but without the demand they are not going to happen." Even in Europe, which has pushed ahead with efforts to stimulate demand, these have not been enough to spur offtake, Herrero said. Demand-side incentives alone will likely not be enough and eventually there will have to be consumption obligations too, some said. "Carrots" may help to reduce project costs and kick-start production, but "sticks" will be key, delegates heard. Consumption mandates could accelerate momentum in emerging markets that have big ambitions for exports to future demand centres, World Bank private-sector arm IFC energy chief investment officer Ignacio de Calonje said. Governments are now ready to act on these requests, according to Brussels-based industry body the Hydrogen Council's director for policy and partnerships, Daria Nochevnik. "The penny has dropped," Nochevnik told Argus , noting that the need for demand-side action was the number one priority outcome of a ministerial-executive roundtable held in Rotterdam this month. Seeing red, feeling blue But governments must also remove red tape to speed things up, delegates said. European developers in particular are increasingly frustrated with the paperwork involved in funding applications, German utility Uniper vice-president for hydrogen business development Christian Stuckmann said. Shortening lengthy permitting and funding processes is high on governments' lists, Nochevnik noted. Some delegates renewed calls for a wider acceptance of "blue" hydrogen — made from natural gas with carbon capture and storage — to address concerns that, if it is up to renewable hydrogen alone, things will start too late or not at all. There appeared to be widespread consensus that blue hydrogen will have a key role to play, especially in a transitional period, as it can already deliver significant emissions reductions. But there is a "stigma" in Europe, industrial gas firm Linde vice-president for clean energy David Burns said. This could hamper its adoption, which many delegates argued the world cannot afford. Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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Q&A: Oman Shell to balance upstream with renewables


24/05/24
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24/05/24

Q&A: Oman Shell to balance upstream with renewables

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It is what we would like to call a 'just transition' because you think about it from macroeconomic perspective of the country and its economic health. Shell is involved across the energy spectrum in Oman – from upstream gas to alternative, clean energies. What is Shell's overall strategy for the country? In Oman, our strategic foundation has three main pillars. The first is around oil and liquids and our ambition is to sustain oil and liquids production. At the same time, we aim to significantly reduce carbon intensity from the oil production coming from PDO. The second strategic pillar is gas, and our ambition here is to grow the amount of gas we are producing in Oman and also to help Oman grow its LNG export capabilities. The more committed we are in unlocking the gas reserves in the country, the more we can support Oman's growth, diversification, and the resilience of its economy through investments and LNG revenue. Gas also offers a very logical and nice link into blue and green hydrogen, whether in sequence or as a stepping stone to scale the hydrogen economy in the country. The last strategic pillar is to establish low-carbon value chains, predominantly centered around hydrogen, more likely blue hydrogen in the short term and very likely material green in the long term, which is subject to regulations and markets developing. How would you view Oman's potential to be a major exporter of green hydrogen? When examining the foundational aspects of green hydrogen manufacturing, such as the quality of solar and wind resources and their onshore complementarity, Oman emerges as a highly competitive country in terms of its capabilities. But where we are in technology and where we are in global markets and on policy frameworks — the demand centers for green hydrogen are maturing but not yet matured. I think there will be a period of discovery for green hydrogen globally, not just for Oman, in the way LNG started 20-30 years ago. When it does, Oman will be well-positioned to play global role in the global hydrogen economy. But the question is, how much time it is going to take us and what kind of multi-collaboration needs to be in place to enable that? The realisation of this potential hinges on several factors: the policies of the Omani government, its bilateral ties with Japan, Korea, and the EU, and the technological advancements within the industry. Shell has also been looking at developing CCUS opportunities in the country. How big a role can CCUS play in the region's energy transition? CCUS is going to be an important tool in decarbonising the global energy system. 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Has exploration work there begun? We did have a material gas discovery which is being appraised this year, but it is a bit too early to draw conclusions at this stage. So, after the appraisal campaign is completed, we will be able to talk more confidently about the production potential. Exploration is a very uncertain business. You must go after a lot of things and only a few will end up working. We have a very aggressive exploration campaign at the moment. We also expect by the end of 2025, we would be in a much better position to determine the next wave of growth and where it is going to come from. Shell is set to become the largest off taker from Oman LNG, how do you view the LNG markets this year and next? As a company, we are convinced, that the demand for LNG will grow and it needs to grow if the world is going to achieve the energy transition Gas must play a role, it has to play a bigger role globally over the time, mainly to replace coal in power generation and given its higher efficiency and lower carbon intensity fuel in the energy mix. While Oman may not be the largest LNG exporter globally or hold the most significant gas reserves, it is a niche player in the gas sector with a sophisticated and high-quality gas infrastructure. Oman's resource base remains robust, driving ongoing exploration and investment efforts. This growth trajectory includes catering to domestic needs and servicing industrial hubs like Duqm and Sohar, alongside allocating resources for export purpose. We have the ambition to grow gas for domestic purpose and for gas for eventual exports Have you identified any international markets to export LNG? We have been historically and predominantly focused on east and we continue to see east as core LNG market with focus on Japan, Korea, and China. Europe has also emerged on the back of the Ukraine-Russia crisis as growing demand center for LNG. Over time we might focus on different markets to a certain extent. It will be driven on maximising value for the country. By Rithika Krishna Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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USDA to invest $83mn in fertilizer projects


23/05/24
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23/05/24

USDA to invest $83mn in fertilizer projects

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Alabama Demopolis lock reopens early


22/05/24
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22/05/24

Alabama Demopolis lock reopens early

Houston, 22 May (Argus) — The failed Demopolis Lock, at the intersection of the Tombigbee Waterway and Black Warrior rivers in Alabama, has reopened two weeks earlier than projected. The lock reopened on 16 May, ahead of the scheduled 30 May opening . Vessels carrying commodities such as asphalt, coal, petcoke, metals and fertilizers have been able to pass through the lock without a long queue since the reopening, according to the US Army Corps of Engineers. The lock had been closed since 16 January when the concrete sill underneath the lock doors failed. The lock was largely rebuilt over the ensuing four months Traffic that would typically pass through the lock was rerouted during the closure. Multiple steel mills in Alabama and Mississippi move some of their feedstock and finished product through the Demopolis lock. Those mills have 8.16mn short tons (st)/yr of flat, long, semifinished and pipe steel production capacity. By Meghan Yoyotte Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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