WESFARMERS-owned fertiliser and chemical company CSBP is seeking environmental approval to boost production capacity with the building of an additional ammonia-manufacturing facility in Kwinana, Western Australia.
CSBP is already one of the major suppliers of ammonia in Australia, and the proposed expansion will double production at CSBP’s existing site, as well as replacing reliance on ammonia imports and giving CSBP more control over its greenhouse gas-emissions footprint.
The expansion plans will mean an extra 300,000 tonnes will be manufactured locally every year, reducing CSBP’s exposure to price and supply volatility in the production of fertiliser used in cropping and other industries.
Currently, the business uses approximately 525,000t of ammonia each year, with a 50/50 split between its own manufactured ammonia and imports.
Following completion of a front-end engineering design study, the project’s Greenhouse Gas Management Plan is currently before the WA Environmental Protection Authority.
If all approvals are secured, a Final Investment Decision is expected in 2024, with possible construction in the second half of 2024, and first ammonia production by 2028.
New electrolyser planned
The proposed new plant’s design includes a pilot 10MW electrolyser and the ability to adopt green technology as it becomes viable.
The electrolyser will be powered by a combination of renewable energy and electricity generated from excess heat from various on-site production processes.
Combined with energy-efficient design enhancements to equipment, instrumentation and automation, the new plant will produce lower CO2 emissions compared with other ammonia plants of a similar scale around the world.
CSBP is also actively exploring several carbon-capture utilisation and storage solutions for the project’s CO2 emissions.
The solutions are in various stages of development but CSBP is confident they will be sufficiently mature to enable the organisation to meet its goal of net zero emissions by 2050.
CSBP is part of Wesfarmers Chemicals, Energy & Fertilisers (WesCEF).
According to WesCEF managing director Ian Hansen, the Ammonia Expansion Project will align with the organisation’s net zero by 2050 target and build upon its long history of emissions reduction achievements.
“We understand we need to balance community and customer expectations for a net zero world with the requirement to supply essential products for agriculture, construction, energy and mining industries.
“The project’s electrolyser will be an investment in learning so we can gain valuable operational experience and knowledge to enable us to transition to large-scale green hydrogen and ammonia production when it becomes commercially viable.”
Mr Hansen said the project will reap the commercial, operational and logistical benefits of sharing an established site with its existing ammonia plant, as well as the process and safety benefits that extend from a mature, reliable supply chain.
“We are also able to utilise the expertise of a highly credentialled CSBP team, which has been producing ammonia for nearly 60 years.”
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