The industry following good and stable access to renewable power has only just begun to see the extent of it. Already, St1 and Horisont Energi are planning a green ammonia production facility in Finnmark based on wind power.
In a region facing net emigration, industrial growth is very welcome. For this facility alone, it entails a significant number of new jobs.
– It's too early to say how many, but it will probably be up to a hundred, says Simen Hauland, Project Manager for Power to X at St1.
It is likely that up to a hundred jobs will be created.
St1 and Horisont Energi collaborate on the green ammonia project in Finnmark. The latter has two main focus areas: ammonia production and CO2 capture and storage.
– We are two companies with very complementary expertise, which could make it a very positive partnership, says Hauland.
– We are currently in discussions with different municipalities and have identified potential locations for the establishment of such a facility, he continues.
He notes substantial interest in these types of industrial projects, and Hauland has received numerous inquiries from east to west in Finnmark. Initially, there are five locations for the plant to be further investigated, located in Lebesby and Alta municipalities. Several aspects are crucial: land area, access to the sea, and, above all, power.
IMAGE: Illustration of the new green ammonia production facility in Finnmark
– We have requested a land area of at least 200 acres, and preferably up to 1000 acres. We want the opportunity to expand production or invite other projects that can create common synergies. We also think it is clearly better to have one large industrial area than to fill every single headland with small projects, says the project manager.
Hauland is not surprised that municipalities have responded with great interest.
– The region is very interesting regarding the production of this type of energy for use in Norway but also for potential export to Europe and the use of ships that can potentially use the northern passage, he says.
He does not only notice interest in the ammonia project. The response is entirely positive, both domestically and internationally. In contrast to wind power projects, which often face more opposition.
– It's a bit striking that there is such a big difference, but it is perhaps easy to forget that energy is a prerequisite for making progress in the fight against climate change and achieving a energy transition, he says.
Our goal is to replace as much as possible of the Norwegian shipping and offshore fleet with ammonia as fuel instead of diesel.
But what is green ammonia, and what can it be used for? Ammonia is produced from power, water, which becomes hydrogen, and nitrogen. When the power is renewable, the end result is green ammonia.
– Water can be taken from freshwater sources or the sea. Renewable power can come from wind, water, and sun. Nitrogen is taken directly from the air. What you get is oxygen, heat, and ammonia. A completely green process, explains Hauland.
Ammonia has been used for over a hundred years in agriculture to produce fertilizer, but it has other applications as well.
– It is emerging as a future fuel for ships, and that is the area we primarily focus on. Our goal is to replace as much as possible of the Norwegian shipping and offshore fleet with ammonia as fuel instead of diesel, says the project manager.
– We may experience fishing boats and tractors, snowmobiles powered by ammonia in the future. Then you have a complete local cycle and actually get to know the value of the entire process, he continues.
For an establishment like this, it is a prerequisite that there is a stable supply of cheap renewable power.
– Without power, these types of projects cannot be realized. That's why projects like Davvi are incredibly important, emphasizes Hauland.
The project manager believes it is essential to demonstrate the positive effects of a wind power plant. The numerous possibilities it offers, either directly related to the wind park or as a result of related industries, such as green ammonia.
– Projects related to land-based fish farms are being worked on, for example. In the production of green hydrogen, which is part of the ammonia process, you will get a lot of oxygen and heat. This is something that can be valuable for the fish farming industry and therefore create a lot of exciting synergies, says the project manager.
– A wind farm enables a wide variety of projects that can help reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. Renewable power is the key to making some of these possible, he concludes.