Global Energy and Chemical Leaders to develop low-carbon ammonia production project on Houston Ship Channel

Tokyo-based INPEX Corporation, Paris-based Air Liquide Group, Oklahoma City-based LSB Industries, and Houston-based Vopak Moda Houston have agreed to collaborate on the pre-FEED for the development of a large-scale, low-carbon ammonia production and export project on the Houston Ship Channel.

If the development proceeds, the project’s first phase is targeted to produce more than 1.1 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) of low-carbon ammonia by the end of 2027, with options for future expansions.

The parties completed a feasibility study on the project earlier this year and the preferred facility’s location on the Houston Ship Channel, the second largest petrochemical corridor in the world, leverages existing infrastructure assets.

Vopak Moda has invested in storage and handling infrastructure for bulk liquid products and currently operates an ammonia terminal that includes storage tanks and a newbuild dock with multiple deep-water berths. The project also has access to utilities and would be near multiple pipelines that could supply raw materials like natural gas and water.

The project partners will bring complementary expertise to the production, operation, storage and export for the advancement of low-carbon ammonia production in the US.

LSB and INPEX would collaborate on low-carbon ammonia production. LSB would lead the selection of the ammonia loop technology provider, the pre-FEED, and the engineering, procurement and construction of the facility. LSB would also be responsible for the day-to-day operation of the ammonia loop.

INPEX and LSB would sell the low-carbon ammonia and finalize off-take agreements with the numerous parties that have expressed interest and could also further partner in the project. The majority of the product would be used for power generation in Asia with some volumes going to Europe and the US. INPEX, with stakes in both hydrogen and ammonia production, will likely be the largest investor in the overall project across the entire value chain, from production to export.

Vopak Moda currently operates ammonia storage and handling infrastructure from its Very Large Gas Carriers (VLGC)-capable deepwater berth which is located in the deepest part of the Houston Ship Channel.  Vopak Moda will maintain its ownership of the existing infrastructure and plans to build additional storage capacity as required to handle the low-carbon ammonia production of the proposed new facility.

INPEX representative director, president & CEO Takayuki Ueda said: “As we approach the achievement of our net zero target by 2050, the unveiling of our low carbon ammonia project in Texas, USA, stands as a momentous testament to INPEX’s strong commitment to environmental leadership.

“This innovative endeavor marks a significant milestone to create a clean fuel supply chain for a sustainable future. By harnessing the power of cutting-edge technologies and collaborative partnerships with Air Liquide, LSB and Vopak Moda, we are accelerating the transition to a low-carbon world, while solidifying our position as a pioneer in energy transformation and a responsible global energy player.”