Clean Energy Everything You to Need to Know About Neom’s Green Ammonia Plant
Neom has already attracted eyeballs from across the globe for its landmark projects including the development of a green hydrogen based green ammonia production plant. The 5-billion-dollar project is claimed to establish the world’s largest green hydrogen plant in order to produce 650 tons of hydrogen everyday which will be synthesized to produce 1.2 million tons of green ammonia annually.
Located in Saudi Arabia, the ground-breaking project Neom which means the ‘new future’ boasts of offering a world-scale green ammonia production facility powered by renewable energy along with the largest green hydrogen plant in the world. This is not all! The project will also make use of zero liquid discharge for recycling 100 % of the water, utilize advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics; undertake modular construction and much more to develop the ideal futuristic city which is sustainable, carbon-neutral and one that promotes the circular economy concept.
Focussing on the project’s clean energy segment, Neom has opted for green ammonia and green hydrogen which is ‘hands down’ the best option to go forward with in today’s climate critical environment as we are aware that green hydrogen helps to eliminate carbon emissions from various industries whereas, green ammonia acts as an excellent energy storage medium and hydrogen carrier.
Neom to produce 1.2 million tons of green ammonia
Neom’s green hydrogen-based ammonia production facility is being developed by Neom Green Hydrogen Company, a joint venture between Air Products, Acwa Power and Neom. The 5-billion-dollar project is already making news for its huge production capacity i.e. 1.2 million tons of green ammonia every year and will involve the integration of over four gigawatts of renewable power from solar, wind and storage. The project will also include a green hydrogen unit, claimed to be the world’s largest green hydrogen plant, which will make use of electrolysis to produce 650 tons of hydrogen daily.
This green and carbon-free hydrogen will be used for many applications within the mammoth Neom project including the fuelling of clean autonomous electric vehicles. It will also be synthesized to produce 1.2 million tons of green ammonia every year which will accordingly be exported to global markets for use in the transportation sector. The US-based firm Air Products will be the exclusive off-taker of the soon to be produced green ammonia at the site. The planned ‘green ammonia loop’ will be the world’s largest on par with the Gulf Coast Ammonia facility to be built in Texas, US, states a press release by the technology company Haldor Topsoe.
Work begins on the world’s largest green H2 production facility
To get the project rolling, Air Products has chosen the German firm Thyssenkrupp Uhde Chlorine Engineers for engineering, procuring, fabricating, and installing an electrolysis plant of over 2 GW for the green hydrogen plant which will help to eliminate over three million tons of CO2 emissions annually. Thyssenkrupp is making use of its large-scale 20 MW alkaline water electrolysis module for the project which is scheduled to commence production in 2025. It is interesting to note that the project’s first green hydrogen facility will be followed by the development of many other hydrogen units in the future, thus, making it a green hydrogen hub. Air Products and Haldor Topsoe’s specialized technologies will also be utilized to produce nitrogen by air separation and green ammonia respectively.
The role of water in the production of clean energy
As mentioned above, the Neom project will utilize a zero liquid discharge system for recycling 100 % of the water but how important is water for the production of clean energy? The answer – it’s crucial and important. Green hydrogen is produced from electrolysis, a process by which electricity is used to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. Hence, if there is no water, one cannot produce clean energy with the help of the electrolysis process. In addition to this, water also has to be desalinated first before it can be used by Neom’s green hydrogen plant for production.
According to the Neom website, it will be the first time that desalination is done fully through renewable energy (high-efficiency reverse osmosis process will be carried out by solar panels) and without any effluent going back into the sea — which means zero liquid discharge. In other words, all the wastewater will be treated, none of it will go back into the environment, no CO2 emissions are emitted in the process, thus achieving net-zero. The website also mentions that it will be the first time that full brine processing will be performed which will not only recycle 100 % of the water but will also carry out a biosolids treatment which will lead to zero solid discharge.
Neom moving beyond zero carbon
With water and green energy being given special attention to in the overall project, it seems that the yet to be developed Neom project is determined to achieve its ambitious goal of going beyond zero carbon and becoming truly circular in nature. Thus, leaving a blueprint for the world to follow.