RIYADH: The Saudi Arabian Mining Co., known as Ma’aden, has announced its plans to export blue ammonia amid a global transition to sustainable energy.
The announcement was made by Saudi Minister of Energy Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman during the opening of the Saudi Green Initiative forum on the sidelines of the UN Climate Change Conference, or COP27, in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, according to the Saudi Press Agency.
This comes after Ma’aden obtained an accreditation certificate last month to export blue ammonia.
He added that Ma’aden will be granted 138,000 tons of blue ammonia, representing one of the largest quantities approved in the world to date.
Blue ammonia is where CO2 is captured during the production process of combining hydrogen (from natural gas) and nitrogen, in a method where such emissions can be reduced by up to 90 percent.
This will allow the firm to supply 14 percent of the total blue ammonia market globally, Ma’aden CEO Robert Wilt told Al Arabiya on Oct. 28, on the sidelines of the Future Investment Initiative held in Riyadh.
The certificate was granted by Germany’s testing, inspection, and certification agency TUV Rheinland.
The first shipment of 25,000-ton blue ammonia minerals will be sent from Saudi Arabia to South Korea this month, the minister said.
This happens as mining company seeks to support the global transition to sustainable energy and decarbonize their existing operations by adopting carbon capture technologies.
Additionally, Ma’aden signed a 20-year agreement with Gulf Cryo to build and operate a carbon dioxide capture plant at the Ma'aden Phosphate Complex in Ras Al Khair Industrial City during the Saudi Green Initiative forum.
In October, Saudi Arabian Mining Co. decided to increase the capacity of its phosphate production complexes located in Waad Al-Shamal and Ras Al-Khair industrial hubs.
According to a MEED report, UK-headquartered Petrofac has secured the engineering, procurement and construction contracts for both facilities.
“Ma’aden received bids for the packages in May and, presumably, is in the process of finalizing budgetary approvals and other sanctions (with the Saudi government) for the project,” one source told MEED.
Another source said: “It could be a while before the EPC contracts are awarded, but for now, Petrofac appears to be leading the race and is in discussions with Ma’aden.”