Relaunching Ammonia From Fertilizer to Energy Carrier in Northwest Europe

CIEP, December 2023
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For the last hundred years, ammonia has served as a crucial raw material for the production of nitrogen fertilizers. In light of the energy transition, ammonia is now gaining prominence for its potential role as an energy carrier suitable for overseas energy transportation or direct utilization as a fuel.  Despite the substantial challenges associated with the toxicity of ammonia in the energy sector, decades of accumulated experience have equipped us with the knowledge to safely produce, transport, store and utilize ammonia. 

This paper delves into the changing role of ammonia in Northwest Europe, emphasizing its dual function as a traditional feedstock for nitrogen fertilizer and an increasingly recognized energy carrier. The focus is on how the region’s existing ammonia infrastructure, knowledge base, and expertise can be used to facilitate the implementation of ammonia as an energy carrier and low-carbon fuel. The paper explores various dimensions, encompassing the existing state of the ammonia industry in Northwest Europe, the prospective use of ammonia as an international energy carrier, inland transportation and storage, its potential application as a fuel and the consequential effects on the ammonia market within the region. 

Updated version

Following discussions of the publication with stakeholders from the sector, we have made the decision to upload a new version of the paper. Regrettably, certain inaccuracies in the initial publication came to our attention only post-publication. In our commitment to maintaining high standards of research we have rectified these discrepancies in this updated version.