CF Industries Holdings, Inc., the world’s largest producer of ammonia, and POSCO Holdings Inc. (POSCO), South Korea’s largest steelmaker as well as a leader in energy trading and power generation, announced that the companies are evaluating a joint venture to construct a low-carbon clean ammonia plant at CF Industries’ Blue Point Complex in Ascension Parish, Louisiana, United States, along with long-term low-carbon clean ammonia offtake into South Korea.
As part of their evaluation, CF Industries and POSCO will initiate a front-end engineering and design (FEED) study on autothermal reforming (ATR) ammonia production technology. ATR technology, when combined with carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), is expected to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the ammonia production process by more than 90% compared to conventional ammonia plants without CCS, enabling the resulting low-carbon clean ammonia to comply with the South Korean government’s Clean Hydrogen Energy Portfolio Standard.
Should the project move forward, POSCO expects to import low-carbon clean ammonia from the facility to South Korea to support decarbonization of POSCO's own and third-party coal-based power generation facilities. Additionally, POSCO intends to convert low-carbon clean ammonia into hydrogen in order to use low-carbon hydrogen in gas-based power plants and in the steel-making process itself.
“We are pleased to collaborate with POSCO to support both their decarbonization goals as well as those of South Korea,” said Tony Will, president and chief executive officer, CF Industries Holdings, Inc. “POSCO’s concrete plans to use low-carbon ammonia to accelerate decarbonization in steel manufacturing and power generation in South Korea represent significant new demand for low-carbon ammonia as a clean energy source. We look forward to leveraging our two companies’ industry-leading expertise to advance our shared commitment to a more sustainable future.”
Yoo Byeong-ok, Chief Green Materials & Energy Business Officer at POSCO Holdings, stated, "The United States is one of the key strategic regions for POSCO Group as it is actively pursuing the establishment of an economically and reliably overseas hydrogen and ammonia supply network through the IRA support policy." He further explained, "We plan to establish a production hub for clean ammonia in the United States in collaboration with CF Industries, the largest ammonia producer, and secure a stable supply network to timely provide clean hydrogen necessary for domestic power generation and hydrogen reduction steelmaking."
The FEED study is expected to be completed in the second half of 2024, with a final investment decision by CF Industries and POSCO to follow.
Since 2020, CF Industries has advanced industry-leading projects to decarbonize its ammonia production network and position the Company to supply a substantial volume of low-carbon clean ammonia within the next few years. This includes leveraging CCS technologies at its Donaldsonville Complex where CF Industries is constructing a CO2 dehydration and compression facility to enable the capture and permanent sequestration of up to 2 million tons of CO2 per year with ExxonMobil, starting in 2025. The Company has also commenced a front-end engineering and design study with Mitsui & Co., Ltd. to construct a greenfield low-carbon clean ammonia facility utilizing steam methane reforming (SMR) ammonia technology along with CCS at its Blue Point Complex in Louisiana. Additionally, CF Industries is constructing North America’s first commercial scale green ammonia capacity at its Donaldsonville Complex, enabling up to 20,000 tons of green ammonia production beginning in 2024.