CF Industries and POSCO evaluating joint US blue ammonia project and long-term offtake agreement into South Korea
CF Industries Holdings, the world’s largest producer of ammonia, and POSCO Holdings, South Korea’s largest steelmaker as well as a leader in energy trading and power generation, are evaluating a joint venture to construct a low-carbon clean ammonia plant at CF Industries’ Blue Point Complex in Ascension Parish, Louisiana, United States, along with long-term low-carbon clean ammonia offtake into South Korea.
As part of their evaluation, CF Industries and POSCO will initiate a front-end engineering and design (FEED) study on autothermal reforming (ATR) ammonia production technology. ATR technology, when combined with carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the ammonia production process by more than 90% compared to conventional ammonia plants without CCS, enabling the resulting low-carbon blue ammonia to comply with the South Korean government’s Clean Hydrogen Energy Portfolio Standard.
Should the project move forward, POSCO expects to import low-carbon clean ammonia from the facility to South Korea to support decarbonization of POSCO’s own and third-party coal-based power generation facilities. Additionally, POSCO intends to convert low-carbon clean ammonia into hydrogen in order to use low-carbon hydrogen in gas-based power plants and in the steel-making process itself.
The FEED study is expected to be completed in the second half of 2024, with a final investment decision by CF Industries and POSCO to follow.
Since 2020, CF Industries has advanced industry-leading projects to decarbonize its ammonia production network and position the company to supply a substantial volume of low-carbon clean ammonia within the next few years. This includes leveraging CCS technologies at its Donaldsonville Complex where CF Industries is constructing a CO2 dehydration and compression facility to enable the capture and permanent sequestration of up to 2 million tons of CO2 per year with ExxonMobil, starting in 2025.
The company has also commenced a front-end engineering and design study with Mitsui & Co., Ltd. to construct a greenfield low-carbon clean ammonia facility utilizing steam methane reforming (SMR) ammonia technology along with CCS at its Blue Point Complex in Louisiana.
Additionally, CF Industries is constructing North America’s first commercial scale green ammonia capacity at its Donaldsonville Complex, enabling up to 20,000 tons of green ammonia production beginning in 2024.
Posco Group plans to establish a clean hydrogen business model by leveraging the capabilities of its subsidiary companies engaged in various aspects of hydrogen production, transportation, storage, and utilization, aiming to establish a hydrogen production capacity of 7 million tons by 2050. In order to achieve this, Posco Holdings is actively promoting the development of various green and blue hydrogen projects, with a focus on strategic regions such as Australia, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and North America.