ADNOC to build massive blue ammonia project in Ruwais; Eyes hydrogen economy expansion

By Ashika Rajan, Trainee Reporter
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ADNOC's Industrial Complex
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UAE’s state-owned oil company, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) will build a gigantic blue ammonia project at its downstream hub in Ruwais, as part of its efforts to expand the UAE’s hydrogen economy.

The company is moving forward with the design phase of the planned facility at the Ta’ziz industrial ecosystem in Ruwais, which is being constructed in collaboration with UAE’s ADQ. According to ADNOC, the facility will be able to manufacture 1,000 kilotonnes of ammonia each year.

Blue ammonia is a more easily transportable fuel derived from blue hydrogen, which is itself produced as a byproduct of captured and stored carbon dioxide. The hydrogen generated from natural gas feedstocks is shown by the blue color of the product.

Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and ADNOC Group CEO remarked that “This is a significant milestone in the development of our blue hydrogen and ammonia business, building on the UAE’s strong position as a producer of competitive, low carbon natural gas and our leadership role in carbon capture and underground storage.”

The UAE is developing a thorough plan to position itself as a hydrogen exporter and capitalize on the clean fuel’s potential. According to Fitch Solutions, the global hydrogen industry is predicted to increase to $183 billion by 2023, up from $129 billion in 2017.

French investment bank Natixis estimates that investments in hydrogen are expected to top $300 billion by 2030. Gulf oil exporters like the UAE and Saudi Arabia are exploring hydrogen as a feasible clean fuel. Blue or green ammonia is an efficient method of both storing and transporting hydrogen.

Saudi Arabia, the Arab world’s biggest economy, agreed in March to ship natural gas to South Korea in return for carbon dioxide to produce hydrogen. The CO2 gas will then be utilized in the kingdom’s oil production facilities.

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