Long-term sustainability of industries like agriculture and shipping is something we cannot fail in. Large-scale production of green alternatives for fertilizers and fuel, along with strong partnerships, will be vital success factors in the transition of these today fossil fuel reliant industries.
In early 2021, Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) unveiled plans to build one of Europe's largest industrial use production facilities for green ammonia. The HØST PtX Esbjerg project will utilise the power from offshore wind turbines in the North Sea to produce hydrogen through electrolysis on gigawatt level. With the Danish Government's commitment to the green transition and plans to expand offshore wind and build the world's first energy island, the timing could not be better.
The CO₂-free ammonia produced in the new facilities will bring climate-friendly alternatives to the agricultural sector through green fertiliser and to the shipping industry through green fuel, now in large-scale volumes that have the potential to reduce CO₂ emissions with around 1.5 million tons a year. That's equivalent to removing 750,000 cars from the roads. Furthermore, excess heat from the plant will not go to waste: it will be used to provide heating for around 15,000 households in Esbjerg and Varde municipalities.
David Dupont-Mouritzen, Project Director at HØST, says:
“As the need for decarbonisation of hard to abate sectors increases – so does the need for a build-out of renewable energy capacity. If Denmark is to be a pioneer and market leader within Power-to-X, we have to realise the large potential for offshore wind in the North Sea. Independent advisors and NGOs estimate that 7-9 GW of offshore wind is required by 2030 to meet demands. This calls for immediate action and fast track environmental and planning processes. If we succeed, Denmark will not only become self-sufficient with low-carbon fertilizer and break free from natural gas dependency from countries such as Russia; we will also be able to export green ammonia to other countries that lack sufficient renewable energy to sustain a power-to-X industry of their own.”
Well into the first year since the project was announced, the HØST team is now fully manned and in place in Esbjerg. All land has been secured, and the plant layout is being matured and firmed up.
The project is also approaching its first public consultation period scheduled to commence in the second or third quarter this year.
As with all pioneering projects, partnerships are of outmost importance. Five Danish market leaders within agriculture (Arla, Danish Crown, DLG) and shipping (A.P. Møller Mærsk and DFDS) have all committed to offtake green ammonia from HØST.
COWI assists CIP with many aspects of this ground-breaking project – from spatial planning, risk analysis, safety and environmental assessments to planning and early project maturation. Construction is expected to begin next year.
Kasper Fröhlich, Business Development Director in COWI's energy division says:
"Power-to-X, or in this case Power-to-Ammonia, will be key in decarbonising industries that today rely on fossil fuels. The transition to green alternatives will be driven by a genuine need, fast developing technologies and significant cost reductions in clean renewable energy. We want to contribute to this development and will continue to invest heavily in our competencies within power-to-x, carbon capture and renewable energy. This is a fantastic project to be part of and together we can make a real difference on the sustainability agenda."