Denmark in world first ammonia plant powered by wind


Denmark – Nel has been engaged by Skovgaard Energy to provide its alkaline electrolyser technology for a Danish government-funded ammonia-wind trial project at Lemvig in Denmark.

The electrolyser stack will be a component of an innovative green-ammonia factory that will be powered by six wind turbines and be the first of its type. The ammonia technology is provided by Topsoe, while the power is generated by Vestas wind turbines. There are currently 90 more hectares of photovoltaic arrays being built. Any excess electricity that these facilities generate will be sent to the dynamic plant, where the ammonia can be used to create fertilizer or be burned as a zero-emission fuel.

Natural gas must be supplied to a plant in big quantities and at a constant rate in order to produce ammonia conventionally. A separate chemical procedure is used to produce green-ammonia, with hydrogen obtained from water electrolysis. Then nitrogen is added to this.

Flexibility is essential

Nel’s electrolysers will produce different amounts of green hydrogen because renewable energy is unstable. This necessitates the need for a highly adaptive or dynamic reactor to store the gases and catalysts needed to synthesize green ammonia. Large cost reductions are implied by the rapid startup time.

Although the pilot plant is only approximately 1% the size of a commercially viable plant, calculations indicate that even if the full-scale facility only produced around 50% of its nominal capacity, it would still be profitable to operate.

The measurements make sense because the dynamic plant would cost less than 2% more than a traditional facility, and producing one unit of ammonia would cost about half as much as it would if natural gas were used at the current pricing. If this is the case in the absence of carbon taxes, it is obvious how profitable carbon pricing will be once it is implemented.