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Project to Develop Europe’s First Large Scale Blue Ammonia Plant

Europe's first large blue ammonia production plant
Plans call for blue ammonia production using gas from the Barents Sea (Horisont Energi)

Published Sep 10, 2021 8:19 PM by The Maritime Executive

Efforts are moving forward for the development of Europe’s first large-scale production facility for blue ammonia. Horisont Energi announced that two of the largest offshore oil and gas producers in the Barents Sea region, Equinor and Vår Energi, have entered into a cooperation agreement for the development of Barents Blue.  

To be located in Finnmark in northern Norway, the production plant is based on natural gas from the Barents Sea. Plans call for a production capacity of 3,000 tons of ammonia per day once operational. 

“This agreement means that we are now moving forward in the Barents Blue project with two industrial partners with a strong local presence,” said Bjørgulf Haukelidsæter Eidesen, CEO of Horisont Energi. “They have a long-term perspective and bring extensive experience with large and complex technical projects. This is a major step forward for Barents Blue”

The Barents Blue project is based on using natural gas to produce ammonia. In addition to the traditional uses in industry and agriculture, the project targets supplying ammonia to the shipping industry as an alternative fuel.

“The Barents Blue ammonia plant is planned to consist of three process trains which may be developed simultaneously or sequentially including all required utilities for producing blue ammonia. Each train calls for a facility producing approximately 1 million tons of pure ammonia per year, potentially permanently storing 2 million tons of CO2 annually, making Barents Blue one of Norway’s largest environmental projects,” commented Eidesen

During the production process in the Barents Blue ammonia plant, more than 99 percent of the CO2 in the process gas will be captured and permanently stored in the offshore Polaris reservoir below the seabed near Finnmark. The Polaris reservoir may have a storage capacity of over 100 million tons, which is equivalent to twice Norway’s annual greenhouse gas emissions.

The partners plan to make a final investment decision before the end of 2022, targeting 2025 for the start of production.