Decarbonizing the Australian fertilizer industry with green hydrogen

Tractebel and partner KBR are the Owner’s Engineer on one of the world’s largest renewable hydrogen plants, powered by off-grid intermittent renewable solar energy: Yuri Phase 0 in Western Australia. This groundbreaking project will support decarbonization of the Australian fertilizer industry and is paving the way for future large-scale green ammonia production.

Fertilizer is an undisputable necessity to keep pace with increasing food production, whose demand continues to grow on a global scale. Ammonia production, most of which is used for fertilizer, accounts for an astonishing 1 to 2 percent of CO2 emissions worldwide. That places the industry among the biggest sources of greenhouse gas emissions on the planet. Decarbonizing ammonia production is therefore crucial to reaching global net zero goals.

Generating green hydrogen from the sun

Yara Australia, an ammonia production facility in Karratha, Western Australia is poised to produce green hydrogen powered by sunshine. A joint venture between ENGIE (72%) and Mitsui (28%), named Yuri Operations Pty Ltd, will develop one of the world’s first solar-powered industrial-scale renewable hydrogen projects to decarbonize Yara’s ammonia production. The project is funded by grants from the Australian Government’s ARENA Renewable Hydrogen Deployment Fund and the Western Australian Government’s Renewable Hydrogen Fund.

The Yara ammonia production facility in Australia, future site of one of the world’s first industrial-scale renewable hydrogen projects
© Monford Group

Tractebel and KBR to oversee design and construction

As Owner’s Engineer, Tractebel and KBR bring together their knowledge capabilities in the design and construction of hydrogen processing facilities (and associated infrastructure requirements) from previous greenfield and brownfield projects in the Pilbara region. Tractebel and KBR are the strategic partner for ENGIE in developing the Yuri project, one that will position ENGIE, Mitsui and Yara as leaders in developing the sustainable energy landscape in Australia and make green hydrogen production a reality.

Daniele Perretta, Tractebel project manager

Yara facility to produce 640 tons of renewable hydrogen per year

The project will begin with the development of a large-scale green ammonia production at the Yara facility, which aims to produce 640 tons of renewable hydrogen per year. The first step focuses on the solar energy and hydrogen production, and feeding the hydrogen to the existing plant to make ammonia. Known as the “Pilbara Green Hydrogen Hub,” the facility will ultimately produce green hydrogen not only for chemical production, but also as fuel for power generation and shipping for local and international markets. Construction by Technip Energies and Monford Group is set to begin in November 2022, with completion planned in 2024.

Yara to join the largest renewable energy powered electrolysis facilities in the world

To generate renewable hydrogen, a ground-mounted 18 MW solar-powered microgrid and an 8 MW battery energy storage system will power a 10 MW hydrogen electrolyzer. The project also includes the associated plant equipment and interfaces with the existing Yara Pilbara Fertilizers Pty Ltd plant.

Once operational, the facility will be one of the world’s largest renewable energy powered electrolysis facilities. It will serve as a blueprint for the development of Australia’s hydrogen industry and as a demonstration of integrating electrolyzers into ammonia production plants.

“We have a strong pipeline of renewables, storage and hydrogen projects in Australia,” said Andrew HylandENGIE Australia and New Zealand Chief Executive Officer. “As each one of these projects reaches financial close, construction and commissioning, we get closer to decarbonizing our economy and realizing our ambitious net zero targets.”

 

Tractebel and partner KBR bring together the experience of both companies in the design and construction of hydrogen processing facilities.

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