$1 Billion Investment Brings World-Scale Ammonia Production Facility to Galveston County and Greater Houston
On January 8, 2020, in collaborative announcements, Gulf Coast Ammonia LLC (GCA), Air Products and Eastman Chemical Company shared that final financing agreements had been reached to build the world’s largest single-train ammonia synthesis loop in Texas City, Texas. This facility will provide roughly 1.3 million tons of ammonia per year (about 9% of the world’s supply) when it opens in 2023.
The facility’s location was made possible by county tax abatements approved by the Galveston County Commissioners Court in December 2019, and negotiated by Dane Carlson, the county’s Economic Development Director.
In addition to being the largest of its type, the new facility will provide state of the art safety standards in terms of production and storage of ammonia.
GCA is investing $600 million towards the construction, operation, and ownership of the ammonia plant. Air Products is investing $500 million towards the development of the company’s largest steam methane reformer for production of hydrogen, a build-out of its world’s largest hydrogen pipeline to connect to Texas City, the construction of an air separation unit to supply nitrogen, and operation of a steam turbine generator to provide utilities to GCA’s ammonia plant.
This project represents Air Products’ largest singular investment in the United States. Not only will the project define a new source of production for Texas City’s diverse industrial park, but it also increases Air Products’ commitment to the build-out of its Gulf Coast hydrogen pipeline. It will now scale from Texas City, through the Houston Ship Channel, leading to New Orleans, LA. Air Products currently supplies 1.7 billion feet of hydrogen per day through its 24 hydrogen production facilities.
The plant will be situated on land owned by Eastman Chemical Company within Texas City’s industrial park and include a portion of Eastman’s port access. Not only will Eastman be gaining two long-term tenants and a reduction in utility costs, but they will also be provided with an avenue to purchase cost-advantaged ammonia for the production of its specialty products.
GCA has already secured long-term offtake contracts for a majority of its ammonia production while also acquiring supply agreements for its required feedstock.
GCA’s CEO Ken Koye stated that “The facility and associated infrastructure will generate major economic benefits in Galveston County, including more than 40 permanent operations jobs and more than 1,000 construction jobs at peak”.
Starwood Energy Group Global LLC and Mabanaft GmbH & Co. KG both wholly own GCA through a shared joint venture. Gulf Coast Ammonia’s sister company, Oil Tanking North America, will own and operate its marine facilities.