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Port of Rotterdam leads ammonia cracker study 

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Picture of Meenal Datar

Meenal Datar

Membership specialist
several large storage tanks for petrol in the Rotterdam Port at sunrise

An initiative of 18 companies, led by the Port of Rotterdam Authority, has kicked off a study into the possible establishment of a large-scale ammonia cracker to enable imports of 1 million tons (907,185 tonnes) of hydrogen per year to aid the decarbonisation of industry and mobility. 

Participants have commissioned Fluor to study possibilities for a large central cracking facility in the port area to convert imported ammonia back into hydrogen. The hydrogen is then expected to be used in the port or transported onwards via pipelines to facilitate the decarbonisation of other industrial clusters in north west Europe. As a rule, 1 million tons of green hydrogen can facilitate approximately 10 million tons of carbon reductions. 

Allard Castelein, CEO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority, says: ‘Europe will need large amounts of hydrogen to reach its climate objectives and a significant share of this can be imported via the port of Rotterdam. Ammonia is one of the most efficient ways to transport hydrogen and by establishing one central ammonia cracker, we can save time, space and resources to enable the imports of a million tons of hydrogen per year.’ 

Companies that the initiative includes Air Liquide, Aramco, BP, Essent/E.ON ExxonMobil, Gasunie, GES, HES international, Koole Terminals, Linde, OCI, RWE, Shell, Sasol, Uniper, Vopak, and VTTI. The pre-feasibility study will investigate the technical, economic, environmental and safety requirements of a large cracking facility. The first results of the study are expected in early 2023. 

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