RWE and VTG Team Up to Develop Ammonia Logistics Concept, Moving from Import Terminal to Customer via Rail

  • 14-Feb-2023
  • Journalist: Jaideep

Essen [Europe]: RWE has announced plans to build a green import terminal for Ammonia in Brunsbuttel, Germany. To ensure the safe and efficient transport of this fuel, RWE and global logistics company VTG have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to use rail wagons for onward delivery to customers in Germany and surrounding regions. This represents an important step towards a greener future for the region.

RWE and VTG have announced a cooperation agreement to develop a comprehensive logistics concept for their customers. The plan includes researching potential delivery routes as well as assessing the necessary vessel or rail filling and transport capacities required to meet customer demands. Railway transport is particularly beneficial for industrial customers, since there is no need for them to build a pipeline or access an inland port. The delivery of Ammonia via tank wagons has been in use for many years now.

“Green Ammonia is key in the energy transition because it can be used to decarbonise many industrial processes. In the future, Germany will import large quantities of Ammonia, for example via the terminal planned by RWE in Brunsbuttel. From there, the molecules will be distributed directly to industrial customers. VTG has many years of experience in transporting Ammonia by tank wagon. That’s why RWE and VTG are also jointly looking at distribution by rail,” states Ulf Kerstin, CCO of RWE Supply & Trading.

Sven Wellbrock, VTG's Chief Operating Officer Europe and Chief Safety Officer, has added "In addition to its great importance as a basic material for industry, Ammonia will also play an important role in securing energy supplies in the coming decades. It is part of VTG's New Energies strategy, which aims to provide our customers with the best possible support in the transformation towards sustainable industrial processes. Together with RWE, we want to show that large quantities of Ammonia can already be supplied by rail in the short term in a low-emission and competitive manner."

In order to fulfil the climate goals, there is a strong need for green molecules that will help in decarbonizing the industry. To meet this requirement, Germany plans to tap into sources from other parts of the world in addition to homegrown production of Hydrogen. RWE is looking to establish its own portfolio of projects and offtake agreements for Hydrogen and its derivatives like Ammonia, which includes a green import terminal in Brunsbüttel. It's projected that 300,000 tonnes of green Ammonia will be available annually starting 2026.

Ammonia (NH3) is an incredibly versatile compound, made up of Hydrogen and nitrogen. Every year, around 180 million tonnes of Ammonia are produced globally to create a variety of products, including fertilizers, plastics, and other essential chemicals. Thanks to the emergence of green energy technologies like electrolysis, it is now possible to produce "green Ammonia", where the Hydrogen used is generated from renewable sources.

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