OCI N.v. to Expand Port of Rotterdam Ammonia Import Terminal to Meet Emerging Large-Scale Low-Carbon Hydrogen and Ammonia Demand in the Energy Transition

By June 15, 2022 6   min read  (1183 words)

June 15, 2022 |

Fuel Cells Works, OCI N.v. to Expand Port of Rotterdam Ammonia Import Terminal to Meet Emerging Large-Scale Low-Carbon Hydrogen and Ammonia Demand in the Energy Transition
  • Expansion triples ammonia throughput capacity at OCI’s terminal in Rotterdam to 1.2 million tons per year by 2023
  • OCI owns and operates the only ammonia facility and accompanying infrastructure in the Port of Rotterdam
  • Expansion follows significant increase in ammonia imports during the past year to compensate for lower European ammonia production due to volatile and high gas prices, which is expected to continue in the medium term
  • Also caters for emerging large-scale demand for low carbon as a fuel including from ammonia-fueled vessels, expected to first launch in 2025
  • Terminal is strategically located to enable import of blue and green ammonia from OCI’s global operations in the Middle East & North Africa at Fertiglobe and the US, connecting to key infrastructure to serve Europe’s future hydrogen deficit
  • Creates sustainable downstream value chains for society and industry, including new applications such as a low carbon alternative for power generation and industrial feedstocks, which helps reduce Europe’s dependence on natural gas

OCI N.V. (Euronext: OCI) today announced that it has made a final investment decision (FID) for the first phase of its ammonia import terminal expansion project in the Port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands. The terminal is strategically located to facilitate emerging ammonia demand for bunkering to ocean-going vessels, and to act as a hub for hydrogen imported in the form of ammonia from regions with ample natural gas and renewable resources such as the Middle East & North Africa to meet Europe’s expected future hydrogen deficit.

The expansion will be developed under a staged investment approach, with an initial increase in throughput capacity from the current c.400 ktpa to up to 1.2 million metric tons per year to be achieved through low-cost upgrades to OCI’s existing infrastructure. Total investment cost for the first phase is estimated to be below $20 million, with completion expected in 2023.

For the second phase, OCI has completed a basic engineering package for the construction of a new world-scale ammonia tank at the terminal, which, along with a scale-up in jetty infrastructure, will allow a potential increase in throughput to above 3 million tons per annum. OCI plans to commence permitting activities this year, to be in a position to rapidly increase throughput capacity as demand for clean ammonia develops in the medium-term.

Ahmed El-Hoshy, Chief Executive Officer of OCI NV, commented: “As a global leader in ammonia production, trading and distribution, this project is a very logical step to leverage our incumbency status in Rotterdam to enhance our ammonia value chain: never has this been as vital as it is now. We are pleased to announce this milestone, enhancing a key ammonia import and future bunkering hub and aggregation point for low-carbon ammonia at a world-scale port,

which will serve as an important avenue for clean ammonia imports from our global facilities and addresses current and future European hydrogen deficit needs.

This vital piece of the global value chain will provide essential ammonia to keep downstream fertilizer plants running today in this volatile global natural gas environment, and in the future will also offer low carbon ammonia to feed the Dutch and wider European hydrogen needs in power generation, marine fuels, and broader industrial value chains, thereby reducing dependence on fossil fuels.”

The Port of Rotterdam is the largest seaport in Europe with approximately 30,000 visiting sea-going and 100,000 inland vessels per year. It is one of four major global and Europe’s largest bunkering port, supplying around 11 million m³ of marine bunker fuels per year.

Allard Castelein, CEO Port of Rotterdam: “OCI’s decision to invest in tripling its ammonia import capacity in Rotterdam perfectly fits our plans. Our ambition is to be a carbon neutral port in 2050. This regards not only the industry in the port area, but also shipping. Ammonia is not only a hydrogen carrier and a feedstock for the chemical industry, it’s also an important renewable fuel for the shipping sector. To be able to bunker ammonia, steps such as OCI’s need to be implemented to increase the base. As sailing on ammonia is something new, we’re working hard together with the business community and public authorities to have the regulations and safe handling procedures for ammonia bunkering operations in place in time.”

OCI has enjoyed a long and constructive relationship with the Port of Rotterdam, safely operating the only incumbent ammonia position. The initiative further strengthens the company’s product offering in the Port of Rotterdam, where, in addition to ammonia, OCI operates the largest methanol storage and biofuels blending facility in Europe.

Shipping currently accounts for almost 3% of global CO2 emissions but is one of the hardest sectors to decarbonize due to the cost effectiveness of heavy fuel oil and dispersed refueling. Ammonia and methanol, two of OCI’s core products, are the ideal clean energy carriers and are the only practical alternative products that can drive decarbonization of the global maritime industry.

About OCI N.V.

OCI N.V. (Euronext: OCI) is a leading global producer and distributor of hydrogen-based products providing low carbon fertilizers, fuels, and feedstock to agricultural, transportation, and industrial customers around the world. OCI’s production capacity spans four continents and comprises approximately 16.3 million metric tons per year of hydrogen-based products including nitrogen fertilizers, methanol, biofuels, diesel exhaust fluid, melamine, and other products. OCI has more than 3,850 employees, is headquartered in the Netherlands and listed on Euronext in Amsterdam.

OCI’s growing hydrogen-based fuels business includes a development portfolio of renewable, electrolysis, bio-based fuels and upstream hydrogen inputs. OCI has an established team based in offices in the US and the Netherlands as well as storage positions in the US Gulf, Rotterdam, UK, and MENA. Ammonia and methanol are the most logical hydrogen fuels and OCI is ideally positioned to expand on its current industry-leading position and lead the transition to a low carbon future for transportation.

Learn more about OCI at You can also follow OCI on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About Port of Rotterdam Authority

The aim of the Port of Rotterdam Authority is to strengthen the competitive position of the port of Rotterdam as a logistics hub and a world-class industrial complex in terms of both size and quality. The Port Authority is able and willing to make an impact and so it is focusing on accelerating sustainability in the port and it is a partner in the digitalisation of the port and logistics chains. The Port Authority’s core tasks are the sustainable development, management and operation of the port, the maintenance of the smooth and safe handling of shipping and supporting the future-resilience of the port of Rotterdam.

Facts and figures for the Port of Rotterdam Authority and the port of Rotterdam: Port of Rotterdam Authority: approximately 1,270 employees, revenue approximately €770 million. Port area: 12,500 hectares (land & water, including approximately 6,000 hectares of industrial sites). The port area is more than 40 kilometres long. Goods throughput: approximately 470 million tonnes of goods a year. Shipping: approximately 30,000 seagoing vessels and 100,000 inland vessels annually. Employment: (Rijnmond and Maasmond Areas, direct and indirect) 565,000 jobs in the Netherlands. Added value: €63 billion, 8.2% of Dutch GDP.


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