In Argentina, the  industry sector is currently the third largest  energy consumer and the chemical industry is the third largest  greenhouse gas emitter within the industry sector. Therefore, it is crucial that this industry finds climate-neutral solutions for Argentina to reach its net zero goal. Green hydrogen and green ammonia are such solutions. Thinking beyond borders, Argentina could also significantly contribute to global emissions reductions by exporting these sustainable products to other countries.

The chemical and petrochemical industry is essential to achieving a circular and decarbonised and therefore, a more sustainable economy. In a world with limited resources and an exponentially growing population, this will only be possible with the contribution of the disruptive technologies that our industry is already developing.

Jorge de Zavaleta, Executive Director of the Argentine Chamber of the Chemical and Petrochemical Industry (CIQyP)

On May 30, 2023 in Buenos Aires, decision-makers and companies of the Argentinian chemical industry met to discuss how the industry can reduce emissions with green hydrogen and green ammonia. But not only the country’s chemical industry, also its agricultural sector can profit from switching to green ammonia.

Opportunities abound for Argentina to become a green ammonia hub

Argentina is the world’s third largest exporter of agricultural commodities after the US and Brazil. The country currently imports60 % of its fertiliser consumption. To become more independent of those imports, a crucial strategy for Argentina is to promote the local production of green ammonia based on increasing volumes of renewable hydrogen. While boostingmanufacturing capacities for sustainable fertiliser, the country can position itself as a major exporter of green ammonia.

Globally, carbon neutral hydrogen is the third most important component to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 and  Argentina presents excellent natural conditions for the development of large-scale hydrogen projects to supply the domestic market and export PtX products such as ammonia. For instance, Argentina’s renewable energy conditions are optimal for renewable hydrogen generation, having strong winds with capacity factors that have reached 63%especially in the Patagonia region, and high solar irradiation particularly in the North West. In addition, the availability of land and water, the existence of a long seacoast and an extensive network of navigable inland waterways, ports and gas infrastructure, and skilled workforce and a well-developed research and science landscapepresent advantages for the production of hydrogen in the country. For more detailed insights, read our recent policy brief on Argentina’s opportunities to become a hub for green ammonia.

First production plants moving forward

In the workshop, Sergio Nabaes from Profertil, the largest ammonia producer in the country, shared the company‘s plans for the first Argentinian green ammonia plant for export. Currently, Profertil is optimising the plant’s industrial process to expand the ammonia production capacity. The 26 megawatts electrolysis plant will produce green hydrogen on site and convert 100 % of the surplus hydrogen into green ammonia.

As next steps, the Argentine Chamber of the Chemical and Petrochemical Industry is working on a roadmap for the decarbonisation of the Argentine chemical industry until 2050. The PtX Hub will continue its technical support to facilitate including further hydrogen and PtX applications.

The PtX Hub organised the workshop jointly with the Argentine Chamber of the Chemical and Petrochemical Industry.

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