US Gulf lowest-cost green ammonia in 2030: Report

  • Market: Biofuels, E-fuels, Emissions, Fertilizers, Hydrogen, Petrochemicals
  • 16/04/24

The US Gulf coast will likely be the lowest cost source of green ammonia to top global bunkering ports Singapore and Rotterdam by 2030, according to a study by independent non-profits Rocky Mountain Institute and the Global Maritime Forum.

Green ammonia in Singapore is projected to be sourced from the US Gulf coast at $1,100/t, Chile at $1,850/t, Australia at $1,940/t, Namibia at $2,050/t and India at $2,090/t very low-sulphur fuel oil equivalent (VLSFOe) in 2030. Singapore is also projected to procure green methanol from the US Gulf coast at $1,330/t, China at $1,640/t, Australia at $2,610/t and Egypt at $2,810/t VLSFOe in 2030.

The US Gulf coast would be cheaper for both Chinese bio-methanol and Egyptian or Australian e-methanol. But modeling suggests that competition could result in US methanol going to other ports, particularly in Europe, unless the Singaporean port ecosystem moves to proactively secure supply, says the study.

In addition to space constraints imposed by its geography, Singapore has relatively poor wind and solar energy sources, which makes local production of green hydrogen-based-fuels expensive, says the study. Singapore locally produced green methanol and green ammonia are projected at $2,910/t and $2,800/t VLSFOe, respectively, in 2030, higher than imports, even when considering the extra transport costs.

The study projects that fossil fuels would account for 47mn t VLSFOe, or 95pc of Singapore's marine fuel demand in 2030. The remaining 5pc will be allocated between green ammonia (about 1.89mn t VLSFOe) and green methanol (3.30mn t VLSFOe).

Rotterdam to pull from US Gulf

Green ammonia in Rotterdam is projected to be sourced from the US Gulf coast at $1,080/t, locally produced at $2,120/t, sourced from Spain at $2,150/t and from Brazil at $2,310/t.

Rotterdam is also projected to procure green methanol from China at $1,830/t, Denmark at $2,060/t, locally produce it at $2,180/t and from Finland at $2,190/t VLSFOe, among other countries, but not the US Gulf coast .

The study projects that fossil fuels would account for 8.1mn t VLSFOe, or 95pc of Rotterdam's marine fuel demand in 2030. The remaining 5pc will be allocated between green ammonia, at about 326,000t, and green methanol, at about 570,000t VLSFOe.

Rotterdam has a good renewable energy potential, according to the study. But Rotterdam is also a significant industrial cluster and several of the industries in the port's hinterland are seeking to use hydrogen for decarbonisation. As such, the port is expected to import most of its green hydrogen-based fuel supply.

Though US-produced green fuels are likely to be in high demand, Rotterdam can benefit from EU incentives for hydrogen imports, lower-emission fuel demand created by the EU emissions trading system and FuelEU Maritime.

But the EU's draft Renewable Energy Directive could limit the potential for European ports like Rotterdam to import US green fuels. The draft requirements in the Directive disallow fuel from some projects that benefit from renewable electricity incentives, like the renewable energy production tax credit provided by the US's Inflation Reduction Act, after 2028. If these draft requirements are accepted in the final regulation, they could limit the window of opportunity for hydrogen imports from the US to Rotterdam to the period before 2028, says the study.


Sharelinkedin-sharetwitter-sharefacebook-shareemail-share

Related news posts

Argus illuminates the markets by putting a lens on the areas that matter most to you. The market news and commentary we publish reveals vital insights that enable you to make stronger, well-informed decisions. Explore a selection of news stories related to this one.

News
17/05/24

Clean hydrogen industry still upbeat but more realistic

Clean hydrogen industry still upbeat but more realistic

London, 17 May (Argus) — The clean hydrogen sector still lacks tangible progress and final investment decisions (FIDs) for projects remain far and few between, but it is reaching a moment of reckoning essential for market maturity, delegates at the World Hydrogen Summit in Rotterdam said. 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. This has been "the year of doldrums", the Dutch port of Rotterdam's hydrogen supply chain programme manager Martijn Coopman said. 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's 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" on 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 the wheat is separated from the chaff and it is becoming a lot clearer which projects will actually materialise.There is now a greater sense of "realism" underpinning discussions according to Dutch gas company Gasunie chief executive Willemien Terpstra. And this is why market participants are more optimistic than a year ago. Demanding as ever Still, delegates widely urged more policy action, especially on the demand side, which has been a recurrent theme. Spurring on demand will be key to get 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. Incentives may help to reduce project costs and kickstart production, but the amount of "carrots" needed is "phenomenal", so "sticks" will be key, the port of Rotterdam's Coopman said. Consumption mandates could help accelerate momentum in emerging markets and developing countries that have big ambitions for exports to future demand centres, the World Bank's private sector arm IFC energy chief investment officer Ignacio de Calonje said. Governments are now ready to act on these requests, according to 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 week. Red and blue Governments must also remove red tape to speed things up, conference delegates said. European developers in particular are increasingly frustrated with paperwork involved in funding applications, according to German utility Uniper's vice-president for hydrogen business development Christian Stuckmann. Shortening lengthy permitting and funding processes is also high on governments' lists, Nochevnik noted. Some delegates renewed calls for a wider acceptance of "blue" low-carbon 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 this low-carbon hydrogen will have a key role to play, especially in a transitional period, as it can already deliver significant emissions reductions. But there is still a "stigma" in Europe, according to industrial gas firm Linde's vice-president for clean energy David Burns. This could hamper its adoption, which many delegates argued the world cannot afford. By Pamela Machado Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Find out more
News

Japanese bank Mizuho boosts support for H2, ammonia


17/05/24
News
17/05/24

Japanese bank Mizuho boosts support for H2, ammonia

Tokyo, 17 May (Argus) — Japanese bank Mizuho Financial aims to provide ¥2 trillion ($12.8bn) in financial support for domestic and overseas cleaner fuel projects by 2030 to support Japan's plan to build a hydrogen supply chain. Private-sector Mizuho is offering financing to low-carbon hydrogen, ammonia and e-methane projects related to production, import, distribution and development of hydrogen carriers. Mizuho said it has in the past offered project financing for large-scale overseas low-carbon hydrogen and ammonia manufacturing projects, as well as transition loans. Japan is focusing on cleaner fuel use in the power sector and hard-to-abate industries, as part of its drive to reach net zero CO2 emissions by 2050. Japanese firms are getting involved in overseas hydrogen projects because domestic production is bound to be comparatively small and costly. They are looking to co-fire ammonia at coal-fired power generation plants to cut CO2 emissions and examining use of the fuel as a hydrogen carrier . Japanese companies have also partnered with several overseas firms on e-methane. Mizuho has to date offered $1bn for cleaner fuel projects. The bank has set a goal to accelerate the setting up of a clean fuel supply chain by addressing the financial challenge faced by projects requiring large investments. Mizuho has attempted to help Japan's decarbonisation push by tightening biomass and coal financing policies. Mizuho has also stopped investing in new coal-fired power projects, including existing plant expansions. The bank has a plan to reduce the ¥300bn credit available for coal-fired power development projects by half by the April 2030-March 2031 fiscal year and to zero by 2040-41. By Nanami Oki Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

News

US RIN generation up in April as D4 climbs


16/05/24
News
16/05/24

US RIN generation up in April as D4 climbs

Houston, 16 May (Argus) — Generation of renewable identification number (RIN) credits in April rose by 12pc, as biomass-based D4 diesel credits posted their second highest monthly volumes ever. Total RIN generation rose to 2.06bn credits in April, up from 1.84bn a year earlier, the US Environmental Protection Agency reported on Thursday. D4 credits continued to lead gains in April, with generation increasing on the year by 29pc to 780mn credits. The only month with greater D4 RIN generation was December 2023. D4 accounted for 38pc of all RINs in April, up from 33pc in April 2023. Ethanol D6 RIN generation rose from a year earlier by 2.4pc to 1.2bn credits, accounting for 58pc of all RINs generated in the month. D6 credits were also up by 4pc from March, a month that was affected by seasonal ethanol plant maintenance. Cellulosic biofuel D3 credit generation rose by 7.6pc from a year earlier to 69mn credits. RINs are credits traded and produced by refiners and importers to show compliance with the EPA's Renewable Fuel Standard program. Obligated parties can produce credits when renewable fuels are blended into conventional transportation fuels or can purchase credits from other RIN producers. By Matthew Cope Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

News

Sinking crop values weigh on US farmer profits in 2024


16/05/24
News
16/05/24

Sinking crop values weigh on US farmer profits in 2024

Houston, 16 May (Argus) — The cycle of above-average profits that has defined the US agricultural economy in recent seasons is fraying this year as crop prices slacken against elevated expenses. The domestic agricultural sector is forecast to endure a 24pc drop in net cash income this season — the sharpest year-over-year decline in the last decade — underpinned by a 6pc slump in crop sales revenue and modest growth in projected expenses, according to the US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) latest industry income statement. This retraction, which kicked off in 2023, forced many growers in key agricultural districts this season to augment non-real estate loans, slow debt repayment and restructure existing loans to meet liquidity requirements thanks in part to sliding global grain and oilseed prices. Lenders within the seventh and 10th Federal Reserve districts, which represent farmers across major growing regions, reported stronger loan demand and tightened working capital during the first quarter — signaling deteriorating farm finances. Working capital is measured as the difference between the value of assets that can be easily converted to cash and debt due within the next 12 months. Lower working capital valuation signals the ability to pay down debt could be challenged. Domestic agricultural working capital this year is estimated 17pc lower from 2023 and 6pc lower than the five-year average, according to USDA data. "Conditions in the US farm economy have tightened alongside lower prices for many key products and higher financing costs," the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City reported in its quarterly Ag Credit Survey . "Many lenders highlighted growing concerns about deterioration in working capital as a result of low prices, particularly for crop producers." US row-crop growers are expected to endure another season of price deterioration as global markets adjust to supply shocks stemming from the ongoing war in Ukraine that rattled wheat values and key input prices for corn and soybeans. Domestic corn, soybean and wheat farm cash prices are projected to slump for a second consecutive season by 5pc, 11pc and 15pc, respectively, according to the latest projections from the USDA's World Agricultural Supply and Demand (WASDE) report. Corn growers, specifically, face losses this season amid a 4.6mn-acre cut in planted area from last season in tandem with sinking crop values. Margins are estimated -$65.75/acre, based on the latest new-crop contract close and early-season production volume estimates, after benefiting from peak earnings at $242.33/acre in 2022. Corn is a fertilizer-intensive crop, and changes in farmer profitability can erode input prices. Urea, the most widely traded fertilizer globally, is strongly tied to front-month corn futures and domestic barge prices have sunk to levels last seen in January 2021, tracking lower front-month corn futures since the start of the 2023-24 fertilizer season. Fertilizer expenses account for nearly 40pc of annual operating costs for domestic corn growers on a per-acre basis, with seed costs comprising an average 25pc, according to Argus analysis of USDA data. Plant nutrition expenses, though, surged in 2022 and remained above average in 2023 — reflecting historically elevated fertilizer prices during the same period. The USDA forecasts a 15pc dip in fertilizer costs in 2024 for corn growers, providing some reprieve compared with the last two years despite higher seed and various overhead expenses. "Factors like the rising costs of seeds, fertilizers and other inputs as well as more strict environmental regulations, specifically on water usage, have added to the financial and administrative burden for farmers," said Donnie Taylor, Agricultural Retailers Association senior vice-president of membership and corporate relations. By Connor Hyde Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

News

New Dutch government to cut funds for green H2


16/05/24
News
16/05/24

New Dutch government to cut funds for green H2

Hamburg, 16 May (Argus) — The Netherlands' new government could reduce the budget of the country's climate fund by €1.2bn, primarily through cuts to renewable hydrogen support measures. Four parties announced an agreement to form a coalition government on 16 May and outlined broad policy measures. The agreement includes a "budget supplement" which foresees the climate fund's budget being cut by €300mn in each of the next four years compared with existing plans. This will be achieved by cutting funds available for the development of batteries and renewable hydrogen "in proportion to the current budget", according to the text. The majority of the cuts could be for renewable hydrogen given that the earmarked budget for this was much larger than for battery-related projects. Around €9bn of the fund's €35bn budget was set aside for renewable hydrogen support measures, with the bulk to go towards subsidising production projects . The coalition agreement was reached between the far-right PVV, the centre-right VDD party of outgoing prime minister Mark Rutte, the centre-right NSC, which was formed just shortly before the election last November, and the farmer's citizen movement BBB. The PVV, led by Geert Wilders, won most seats in the election but had to tone down some of the demands and promises from its election manifesto during the negotiations. In its manifesto, the PVV had pledged to abolish the climate fund entirely , saying that climate policies should "go straight through the shredder". The parties have retained a general commitment to support renewable hydrogen through the climate fund and note that low-carbon hydrogen made from natural gas with carbon capture and storage (CCS) can be used as a "transitional step" towards reducing emissions "if necessary". The agreement also says a planned increase in the national CO2 tax will be scrapped and outlines plans to open new nuclear power plants. The four parties have yet to decide on who will become the new prime minister. By Stefan Krumpelmann Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Business intelligence reports

Get concise, trustworthy and unbiased analysis of the latest trends and developments in oil and energy markets. These reports are specially created for decision makers who don’t have time to track markets day-by-day, minute-by-minute.

Learn more