Dyno Nobel Renewable Hydrogen Project

September 23rd, 2020

Dyno Nobel Renewable Hydrogen Project

A feasibility study has been undertaken to assess the potential for using renewable hydrogen to increase ammonia production at Dyno Nobel’s existing Moranbah facility and replace purchased (natural-gas based) ammonia.

Main proponents:

Dyno Nobel Moranbah (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Incitec Pivot Limited)

Main end-use classification:

Industrial process – ammonia production

Status:

Under development

Estimated cost:

Feasibility study – AUD$2.67 million

Other involvement:

 

Production details:

Hydrogen production – Up to 9,000 tonnes per annum

Location:

Queensland, Australia

Announced funding:

AUD$980,000 – Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA)

Project description

The project proponent has undertaken a feasibility study to assess the potential for using renewable hydrogen to increase ammonia production at its existing Moranbah facility in central Queensland and replace purchased (natural-gas based) ammonia.

Dyno Nobel supplies industrial explosives and blasting services to the mining, quarrying, seismic and construction industries globally, with Australia and North America the largest markets. It operates an ammonium nitrate manufacturing facility near the town of Moranbah in central Queensland. The facility began operations in 2012 and produces more than 350,000 tonnes per annum of ammonium nitrate (including both prill/pellets and emulsion) which are used as raw materials for the production of explosives for use in mining operations. The Moranbah facility comprises three core units – an ammonia plant, a nitric acid plant and an ammonium nitrate plant.

Natural gas (coal seam gas) is the main raw material and fuel used at the site (supplied via an underground pipeline). As a raw material, natural gas is used in the making of ammonia, which is then further processed (by reacting it with nitric acid) to produce ammonium nitrate.  At present, a portion of the ammonia used in the production process is purchased and ‘imported’ to site by road. Forecast growth in demand requires additional ammonium nitrate manufacturing capacity, which would in turn require additional ammonia imports.

The project proponent has undertaken a feasibility study to assess the technical and economic feasibility of displacing the existing and future imported ammonia supply by the construction of new on-site renewable hydrogen/ammonia plant facilities.

The facilities under investigation include a 160 megawatt (MW) electrolyser, 54-tonne compressed hydrogen storage and a 45,000 tonne per year ammonia plant, with electricity supply for the renewable hydrogen facility coming from a dedicated behind-the-meter  240MW solar farm that would be co-located at Moranbah.

The study also examined the scope and cost of the required plant upgrade using methane (natural gas) and renewable hydrogen as alternative feedstocks (as well as reviewing the strategy to manage electrical and hydrogen supply variability).

The feasibility study was completed in mid-2020.

A knowledge sharing report was released by the project proponent following completion of the feasibility study.

Milestones

September 2019: ARENA announced the provision of AUD$980,000 to Dyno Nobel to assess the feasibility of building a renewable ammonia facility at its existing Moranbah plant.

 

Last reviewed: March 2022