Skip to main content

Green Ammonia: A twist in the tale

13/07/22

The last 24 months have seen numerous reports about the potential for green ammonia going forward. With some predicting the seaborne ammonia market to grow from 16.5 million tons (mmt) to 200 mmt per annum by 2050, and with much of that growth predicted to be green ammonia, it’s easy to see why the sector is attracting a lot of interest across the energy and shipping worlds.

Yet what these reports do not take into account (and indeed could not have done) is the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 on the ammonia market.

Russia's recent invasion of Ukraine could permanently change the shape of the ammonia market going forward.

In this article, we examine the impact of the ongoing conflict on ammonia markets – both in the short and longer-term.

A twist in the tale

 

Currently, around 4.5 mmt of mainly Russian ammonia is exported through the Baltic states and the Ukranian port of Yuhzhnyy on the Black Sea. The continuing hostilities mean that exports from Yuzhnyy have ceased completely and even if they can resume, political pressures could alter demand for Russian ammonia for many years. Additionally, some bridges and railway infrastructure in Ukraine have already been destroyed and it’s estimated they could take around two years to repair from the time that hostilities end. We have already witnessed significant effects on demand and price, but the full impact remains to be seen.

A reset in world trade?

 

The conflict in Ukraine and the likely dent in supply from Russia could create shifts in traditional trade patterns. For example:
Production plants

Increased ammonia demand could see production plants which were previously mothballed or scaled down when deemed to be uneconomic, to be restarted.

Existing production scaled up

 

While ammonia’s role in green initiatives is undoubtedly important, the role it plays in food production is paramount. As such, we can expect to see production scaled up, particularly outside of Russia, causing changes to the trade patterns that we see today.

New green projects

 

The combination of increased ammonia prices and growing awareness of the strategic importance of ammonia supply and export locations could stimulate new green projects which previously struggled to find support.

 

Clarksons Gases: The green ammonia specialists

As the leading provider of shipping-related services to the ammonia industry for more than four decades, developments in green ammonia and CO₂ carriage have become focal points for the Clarksons Gases.

Whether you’re looking to develop your ammonia strategy or future-proof your shipping requirements, our chartering and asset team is perfectly positioned to assist. Working closely with the Clarksons Green Transition, Carbon and Research teams, we bring a unique blend of experience and knowledge, backed by strong analytical support.

While we remain fully committed to our traditional ammonia clients, we also welcome new players and support the industry’s growing efforts towards decarbonisation. Clarksons Gases is already handling several project enquiries from a variety of existing and prospective clients. If you require any help, please get in touch.

Contact the green ammonia team.

Meet the team

Gases CO2 and Ammonia
Insights

First official UK carbon storage application round closes

To date, only six CO₂ storage sites in the UK have had licences granted, however none of them are currently being used for storage. Given the exponential growth in the number of companies looking to enter the CCS sector, storage is becoming increasingly important, and this heightened demand has triggered growing momentum to not only use existing sites, but also create additional new areas.

Click to read this article
Gases CO2 and Ammonia
Insights

Ammonia and the cuckoo in the nest

At first glance, it appears that ammonia should be enjoying its moment in the spotlight: new production projects are being announced on a regular basis and there is continued strong demand as well as high prices. Plus, the shift towards cleaner production techniques and ‘greener ammonia’ is well underway. Indeed, it is widely acknowledged that ammonia holds a potentially significant position in the drive towards decarbonisation.

Click to read this article
Gases CO2 and Ammonia
Insights

What will increased UK carbon storage mean for shipping markets?

UK storage remains relatively underdeveloped at present, with just six UK sites that have had licences granted to date. But all that looks set to change as the number of companies looking to enter the Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) sector has grown exponentially. Given that storage is the starting place for all CCS projects (no storage, no project!), we are starting to see the development of UK carbon storage facilities that would underpin the region’s ability to cater for an extensive storage infrastructure.

Click to read this article