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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.

Your partner through the green transition

Our team of experts are here to help guide, shape and execute your green transition strategy. Whether it is future fuels related, understanding your carbon footprint, getting closer to regulatory requirements, how offsets work or simply improving your day-to-day chartering activity, a conversation with our Green Transition team is a great place to start.

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