Renewable ammonia in Iowa

By Julian Atchison on October 04, 2021

Hancock County wind farm in Iowa, near Greenfield Nitrogen's HQ in Garner City.
Click to learn more. Hancock County wind farm in Iowa, near Greenfield Nitrogen’s HQ in Garner City. Source: NIMECA.

Maire Tecnimont and Greenfield Nitrogen have agreed to develop a green ammonia plant in Iowa, USA. Maire Tecnimont subsidiary NextChem will lead a feasibility study into a 240 tonne per day green ammonia plant based on Stamicarbon’s Green Ammonia Technology (Stamicarbon is another Maire Tecnimont subsidiary).

Renewable energy (most likely wind power, given the location) will be converted to green hydrogen, which will then feed into the ammonia production plant. According to Stamicarbon’s website, the Green Ammonia technology system is also powered by renewable energy, making the whole operation near-zero emissions.

Reducing emissions, reliance on ammonia imports

The project is the first of a series of green ammonia facilities that Greenfield Nitrogen is interested to strategically develop in the US Corn Belt. The plant and storage facility, which will be located near Garner, Iowa, will be powered by local renewable sources and will supply the ammonia to the local market, which traditionally is a large ammonia-consuming market. 

The green ammonia plant will strengthen the development of the low carbon industry in the region and is expected to save over 166,000 tons of CO2 emissions per annum. The production of around 83,000 tons of ammonia per annum will reduce the region’s dependency on the ammonia currently imported from abroad. 

Official Maire Tecnimont press release, 28 September 2021

This partnership represents a collaboration of strengths. As a development partner, Maire Tecnimont and its subsidiaries bring decades of expertise in successfully designing and executing nitrogen projects as well as creating new technology, including state-of-the-art zero-carbon facilities. Greenfield’s development expertise, operational experience, and market knowledge align well and position both companies to play a critical role in meeting the world’s decarbonization goals.

Linda Thrasher, President, Greenfield Nitrogen in the official press release, 28 September 2021

First Kenya, now USA

Stamicarbon will also provide its new technology for the development of a green power-to-fertiliser plant in Kenya. As reported at Ammonia Energy, in May there were four plants world-wide utilising the Green Ammonia Technology. Once completed, the Kenya and Iowa projects will bring that number up to six.