Feasibility Study for Mississippi River Ammonia and Hydrogen Plant

hydrogen and ammonia plan for Louisiana Mississippi
More than 3,600 ocean going vessels move through the Port of South Louisiana on the Mississippi each year (POSL photo)

Published Feb 1, 2022 6:42 PM by The Maritime Executive

A feasibility study is underway to explore the development of green hydrogen and ammonia production plant to be located along the lower Mississippi River to supply ocean going vessels with the new fuel source as well as to develop a new phase for the region’s energy exports. The project has the potential to be one of the first, large renewable energy projects and a pioneer for U.S. industry.

Canadian resource exploration company AmmPower signed a letter of intent to develop the green hydrogen and ammonia facility at the Port of South Louisiana. Called the largest tonnage port in the western hemisphere, the Port of South Louisiana is a super port responsible for more than 50 miles of the river, encompassing three Louisiana parishes. More than 3,600 ocean going vessels move through the port each year carrying over 71 million tons of cargo. It is a primary region for U.S. grain and energy exports.

While AmmPower stressed that it remains a potential project subject to the feasibility study as well as negotiating a definitive agreement and raising funding, the vision is for a facility that could produce up to 4,000 tons of green ammonia per day and that would fuel over 4,500 vessels per year. It would also provide hydrogen and ammonia for domestic use and export.

“This initiative allows the Port of South Louisiana, being the largest energy transfer port in the United States, to move towards green hydrogen and ammonia in a robust manner,” said Gary Benninger, CEO of AmmPower. “Port of South Louisiana is not only one of the largest ports in the world, but will now have the infrastructure to support ocean going vessels that require green ammonia for fuel.”

AmmPower reports that the effort is already underway with an engineering procurement construction company leading the feasibility report. Working with officials from the Port of South Louisiana they plan to identify a potential site for the project and to determine the economic, structural, commercial, financial, and logistical feasibility of developing a large green hydrogen and ammonia facility, to produce, store and distribute green ammonia for use as a carbon-free fuel and a carrier of hydrogen energy. 

The company estimates that the cost of the potential project would be upwards of $1 billion. Construction and development would take approximately 39 months from the time a construction decision is made.